Alastair Cook's side are the second best in the world in test cricket, while New Zealand are ranked eighth, but the home team confounded expectations to finish day two of the rain shortened match at University Oval on 131-0 in reply.
Debutant Hamish Rutherford was 77 not out, while the recalled Peter Fulton was on 46 to put New Zealand in a strong position after the first day of the first test was washed out due to rain.
Left arm pace bowler Neil Wagner and debutant left arm spinner Bruce Martin took four wickets each for the home side, though all but two of England's batsmen were caught by fielders either in front of the wicket or behind square.
None were caught in the slips or by wicketkeeper BJ Watling, indicating they had failed to properly execute their shots, rather than be dismissed by relentless pressure from the attack, something Trott agreed with.
"We got ourselves out with poor shots and misjudgement," Trott, who top-scored with 45 before he fell to a miscued sweep off Martin, told reporters.
"Andy (Flower) is pretty philosophical, but he knows the right time to put his foot down and say 'that's not good enough' and that might be what happens.
"I'm not particularly happy with how things went, I don't think anyone is (so) I don't think there is the need for a hairdryer treatment.
"It can't get any worse ... but, there's no place for feeling sorry for ourselves or thinking we didn't get the rub of the green because you earn that in cricket. You earn the right to put the opposition under pressure and we didn't do that today."
England had entered the test match with just one four day match against the New Zealand XI as their final preparation, a match they lost, after playing a Twenty20 and one-day series.
Several players were also given time off to recover after their tour of India last year though Trott said they had not been under prepared for the test.
"With regards to preparation, I think its been fine, we've all felt really good and you can't fault the guys' commitment in the nets to get ready for a big series like this.
"We put ourselves under pressure with our performance with the bat and we didn't play as well as we should have.
"It was a good wicket and we have got to fight our way back into this cricket match.
"The next three days have an extra half hour so there's a lot of cricket left in this game.
"We've got a big three days ahead of us."
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- New Zealand
- Hamish Rutherford