The gesture is in commemoration of two individuals: former New Zealand Cricket (NZC) chief executive Chris Doig and Mrs Jessy Sithole.
Doig lost a long battle against cancer on Wednesday, at the age of 62. He ran NZC for six years until 2001 and was honoured with an award of Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit in June.
Mrs Sithole, who passed away at Mt.Darwin Hospital on Saturday morning following respiratory and heart complications, is the mother of Zimbabwe opening batsman Vusimuzi Sibanda.
Because of their predominantly black strip, the Black Caps are wearing white arm-bands instead of the traditional colour of mourning.
New Zealand won the toss and sent Zimbabwe to bat. Zimbabwe made two changes, Tatenda Taibu was replaced by Regis Chakabva while Forster Mutizwa came in for the grieving Sibanda. Taibu sustained an injury on his left index finger during practice on Friday, thereby making him unavailable for selection. Team physiotherapist, Amato Machikicho expressed hope that the injury will not rule Taibu out of the rest of the series.
Zimbabwe's starting XI: Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor (capt), Forster Mutizwa, Malcolm Waller, Charles Coventry, Elton Chigumbura, Regis Chakabva, Prosper Utseya, Raymond Price and Kyle Jarvis.
New Zealand's starting XI: Brendan Mc McCullum, Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor (capt), Kane Williamson, James Franklin, Nathan Mc McCullum, Jacob Oram, Doug Bracewell, Luke Woodcock and Kyle Mills.