Debutant Jacob Duffy stunned Pakistan with a destructive spell of bowling with the new ball before Tim Seifert headlined New Zealand's successful chase with a graceful half-century.
Duffy's short of a length bowling did the trick on the lively surface as the Pakistan batters seemed ill-prepared to tackle the steep bounce.
Pakistan were caught on the backfoot, literally and metaphorically, early in the fray when Abdullah Shafique's flick shot was safely pouched by Mark Chapman position at midwicket.
With Babar Azam ruled out of the contests due to a thumb fracture, Pakistan's start went from bad to worse as no top-order batsman being able to perform the anchor role.
Babar's typical fluency at the crease was sorely missed with Pakistan's top four making a total of 20 runs between them including a couple of ducks.
The left-field move to promote Mohammad Rizwan in the opening slot did not work when he too perished for an insubstantial contribution trying to attack a wider delivery bowled by Duffy.
The biggest blow inflicted on Pakistan came in the swift demise of the in-form Mohammad Hafeez, who tamely chipped the first ball he faced to mid-on handing Duffy his third wicket of the day.
Scott Kuggeleijn had rising sensation Haider Ali caught on the first ball of the next over, marking a team hat-trick for the home side.
Pakistan then slipped 39/5 in the ninth over before stand-in skipper Shadab Khan blasted a resilient knock to power his team into contention.
Shadab's pristine striking off Ish Sodhi was a sight to behold as he swatted the leg-spinner for three glorious sixes during his 32-ball 42.
Shadab was supported by useful innings from Imad Wasim and Faheem Ashraf with the latter providing a rapid flourish towards the end to lift Pakistan to 153/9.
Pakistan rode their luck out in the middle since New Zealand fielders were guilty of two easy chances spilled. Duffy was the pick of the bowlers, capping off his remarkable debut with figures of four for 33 while Kuggeleijn boasted three wickets for himself.
In reply, Pakistan put pressure on the opposition by sniffling the scalps of Martin Guptill and Devon Conway in quick succession.
Shaheen Afridi's zestful bowling and Haris Rauf's exciting pace kept the New Zealand batsmen on their toes but Seifert warded off the threat with skilful strokeplay.
Seifert did not allow Shadab and Wahab Riaz to settle in their stride and feasted upon their undisciplined bowling.
Close to the halfway stage, the match swung back in balance with the dismissal of Glenn Phillips but Chapman regathered the momentum for New Zealand by scoring a flurry of boundaries.
Chapman took control of the chase following the departure of Seifert and got out with his team requiring just 25 runs in 22 deliveries.
James Neesham and Mitchell Santner prevented the prospect of any late drama and finished the match with a trio of lusty blows travelling beyond the boundary rope.