Kiwis Ryan Fox and Michael Hendry have struggled in the first round of their home New Zealand Open event, both tied for 86th.
Little-known Australian Daniel Nisbet has rocketed to the top of the leaderboard with a nine-under 63, tied for first with American Jarin Todd and Japanese player Tatsuya Kodai, who surged late in the day.
Elsewhere, Australians Andrew Dodt and Andrew Martin are tied for fourth alongside fellow Aussie Travis Smyth, one shot off Nisbet, Todd and Kodai.
Kiwi Josh Geary is tied for 11th with a six-under 66, tied alongside compatriot Gareth Paddison, and one stroke ahead of young gun Nick Voke.
South Korean star KJ Choi is tied with Fox and Hendry in 86th, while Japanese amateur Shoukun Yamashita nailed a hole-in-one.