Broad made sure the inaugural season was England’s, however, when he dismissed Williamson for 31, getting just enough momentum off the pitch to take a simple catch for keeper Ben Fox to take the lead.
It could have been better for England as the spotless Broad got the inner edge of Conway’s bat, but Foakes could not catch a brilliant diving catch.
England debutant Jamie Overton produced quick pace after a nervous start and celebrated his first Test wicket when he bowled Conway inside for 26.
When Nicholls suffered one of the most brutal dismissals, England were elated and New Zealand’s decision to bat first seemed to be poor.
But Mitchell (78) and Blundell (45) – who shared 195 and 236 at Lord’s and Trent Bridge – again proved to be hard work for England’s attack.
Mitchell was left on eight when England captain Ben Stokes opted not to review a potential lbw off Matthew Potts – replays show he would have been out.
And the 31-year-old took full advantage of his half-century by hitting a straight six off Leach.
England thought they had Blundell when he was stretched by a loose, wide ball off Root and was caught out – only for the New Zealander to review successfully.
After a rain delay, Overton tried to break the stand, topping 90 mph, but New Zealand avoided further crashes and Mitchell eyed a third century of the series.
England are looking to win every match of the home series with at least three Tests for the first time since their 4-0 4-0 loss to India in 2011, while New Zealand are desperate to avoid four consecutive Test losses.