The hosts chased down a target of 350 at Trent Bridge, with what their captain Eoin Morgan called a "carefree attitude" to keep the series alive. The decider will be played at Chester-le-Street on June 20.
Earlier, Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum won the toss and elected to bat. Martin Guptill (53) and McCullum (35) gave the visitors a good start with Kane Williamson scoring 90 off 112 balls. Grant Elliot (55), in-form Ross Taylor (42) and Mitchell Santner (44) also made runs to propel New Zealand to 349 for 7 in their allotted 50 overs.
For England, Ben Stokes and David Willey took 2 wickets each but both proved to be expensive. While Stokes conceded 73 in his 10 overs, Willey just fell 11 short of a 'century' in his 10.
It meant England had to raise their game by quite a few notches to level the series against the World Cup finalists. Their previous highest run chase was 306 for 5 against Pakistan in Karachi way back in 2000.
England openers Jason Roy (38) and Alex Hales (67) gave their team the start they wanted. They put on 100 runs in less than 11 overs when the dominant partner Hales was dismissed. Roy departed 11 runs better and then it was all England. Both skipper Morgan and Joe Root slammed tons to add 198 runs for the third wicket in less than 27 overs.
After Morgan (113) fell, Stokes (19 not out) finished the formalities with Root (106 not out) in just 44 overs.
Matt Henry was the most successful bowler for the Kiwis with 2 wickets for 77 runs in 10 overs.
Morgan was adjudged the man of the match.