A five-wicket haul by paceman Josh Hazlewood ensured Australia had the upper hand on a wicket-laden opening day of the second Test against New Zealand on Friday.

Fourteen wickets fell as Australia reached 124 for four at stumps after the Hazlewood-inspired pace attack rolled New Zealand for 162 in two sessions at Hagley Oval in Christchurch.

Manus Labuschagne was unbeaten on 45, including eight fours, with night-watchman Nathan Lyon on one.

New Zealand debutant Ben Sears, whose first delivery was whipped to the boundary by Steve Smith, claimed his first Test wicket two balls later when he had the Australian opener trapped in front for 11.

Smith's fellow opener Usman Khawaja reached 16 before he was bowled by Matt Henry for the second time in the series.

Henry also clean-bowled Cameron Green for 25 and had Travis Head caught behind for 21 to finish the day with figures of 3-39.

Australia, looking to sweep the two-Test series, won the toss and put New Zealand into a bat on a green-tinged wicket.

After being kept at bay by Tom Latham and Will Young for the first 90 minutes, the tourists picked up wickets at regular intervals.

Hazlewood finished with 5-31 in a masterly display of seam bowling while Mitchell Starc took 3-59.

It moved Starc up to fourth on the all-time Australian wicket-takers' list with 357, overtaking Dennis Lillee, who ended his stellar career with 355.

Australia expected an early breakthrough when captain Pat Cummins elected to bowl in ripe conditions.

Dogged resistance from Latham and Young saw New Zealand reach 47 before Young was dismissed for 14.

From there, the New Zealand innings fell apart.

They lost eight wickets for 60 runs before the Australian onslaught was frustrated by a ninth-wicket partnership of 55 by Henry and Tim Southee in his 100th Test.

After Starc accounted for Young, Hazlewood bowled a precise line and length to claim the next four wickets including New Zealand talisman Kane Williamson, who was trapped in front for 17.

Williamson, who received a standing ovation as he arrived at the crease for his milestone 100th Test, sought a review but he knew it was a lost cause and started to walk before the three red lights were shown.

Hazlewood also accounted for Latham (38) and Daryl Mitchell (four), both caught by wicketkeeper Alex Carey as well as Ravindra caught by Usman Khawaja at first slip.

The impressive Carey took five catches including Tom Blundell (22) off Cameron Green and Glenn Phillips (two) off Starc, who then dismissed Scott Kuggeleijn lbw with his next delivery.

Hazlewood was also in on the action when he caught Southee (26) to give Cummins a wicket, then finished the innings in the next over when he had Henry (29) caught behind.