Jason Holder’s decision to bowl first was justified as the West Indies claimed three New Zealand wickets before lunch on the opening day of the second Test at the Basin Reserve.
Holder chose first use of the green pitch which assisted his quicks with bounce, but also subjected them to buffeting winds gusting up to 120kmh.
But by lunch, the hosts struggled to 3-82 with Tom Blundell, Tom Latham and Ross Taylor back in the dressing room.
Shannon Gabriel, in his 50th Test match, gave Holder and the tourists an early reward when he bowled Blundell for 14 in the seventh over.
Blundell’s was a prized wicket as he made a century on debut against the West Indies at the Basin Reserve three years ago.
The visitors named wicketkeeper Joshua da Silva and fast bowler Chemar Holder to make their Test debuts and they combined to dismiss stand-in Kiwi captain Latham for 27 in the 18th over.
Holder, bowling into the gale, angled a delivery into Latham from around the wicket which caught the outside edge.
Taylor, who had a torrid time at the hands of Gabriel and Chemar Holder, pushed forward tentatively to a ball from Gabriel and was caught by da Silva for nine, 10 minutes before lunch.
Latham is leading New Zealand in the absence of Kane Williamson, who has left the team to be with his wife who is expecting their first child.