Henry wreaked havoc on a greentop at the Hagley Oval, consigning South Africa to their lowest score against New Zealand
Matt Henry produced a career-best seven for 23 in a spectacular display of pace bowling as New Zealand skittled out South Africa for 95 in two sessions to take charge of the opening Test in Christchurch on Thursday.
Playing his first Test in eight months because Trent Boult is away on paternity leave, Henry wreaked havoc on a greentop at the Hagley Oval, consigning South Africa to their lowest score against New Zealand.
World test champions New Zealand were 116-3 at stumps after 13 wickets fell on the bowler-dominated opening day of the contest.
Henry Nicholls was batting on 37 with nightwatchman Neil Wagner on two at the other end and New Zealand on course for a big first-innings lead.
"Great to do it in front of my home fans, friends and family," Henry said after registering the joint third-best test figures by a New Zealand bowler.
"It's not always going to go in your favour when you play the odd game here and there."
Henry and fellow pacemen Tim Southee and Kyle Jamieson extracted considerable movement in the air and bounce off the pitch after Tom Latham won the toss and elected to field.
The visitors slumped to 44 for four by lunch all caught by the wicketkeeper or in the slips cordon.
Henry drew first blood when he removed touring captain Dean Elgar for four in his first over and went on to dismiss Aiden Markram (15) and Rassie van der Dussen (eight).
Zubayr Hamza made 25 and Kyle Verreynne scored 18 but lack of partnerships hurt South Africa.
Henry dismissed Kagiso Rabada and Glenton Stuurman off successive deliveries but his wayward hat-trick delivery went for four byes.
New Zealand openers did not find it easy either when they came out to bat but South Africa's sloppy catching let them off the hook.
Latham (16) got a reprieve on nine when Marco Jansen floored a leading edge at gully and later Hamza would spill Nicholls at third slip when the batsman was on five.
Jansen dismissed Will Young for eight and Duanne Olivier removed Latham, but Devon Conway and Nicholls helped New Zealand eclipse South Africa's total with a doughty 75-run stand.
Johannesburg-born Conway made 36 in his first match against the country of his birth before dragging an Olivier delivery onto his stumps.
Latham is leading New Zealand in the absence of Kane Williamson who has been ruled out of the two-Test series with an elbow injury.