Kane Williamson savoured the "special" achievement of becoming New Zealand's leading Test run-scorer after giving his side a fighting chance of salvaging a 1-1 draw against England.

Williamson made a masterful 132 as the Black Caps were all out for 483 on day four, having been made to follow-on by Ben Stokes.

Former captain Williamson moved beyond Ross Taylor's tally of 7,683 runs to break the record at Basin Reserve on Monday, where England closed on 48-1 in need of another 210 runs for a 2-0 whitewash on the final day.

Williamson's 26th Test century came on his 161st innings, with Taylor's huge haul achieved from 186 knocks in the longest format.

Asked about his achievement at the close of play, the 32-year-old said: "It's not something I've thought a whole lot about.

"But it is an honour. You look at that list, and I've admired all of those players over those years, whether that's watching from afar growing up or playing alongside a number of them as well.

"It's not a focus point but it's special to be amongst that company."

Williamson, who was eventually dismissed caught down the leg side off part-time bowler Harry Brook, hopes to celebrate his exploits with a victory in Wellington.

"It would be pretty special for sure," he said. "It's exciting going in to day five. As a bowling attack and a team, we want to make sure we're on it come tomorrow.

"There's still some assistance there and some assistance for the slower bowlers as well. All to play for, which is exciting."

Jack Leach took 5-157 from 61.3 overs as England had to be patient, with Tom Blundell (90) and Daryl Mitchell (54) also holding them up.

Zak Crawley was unable to make it through to stumps, Tim Southee cleaning him up for 24. Ben Duckett was still there on 23, with Ollie Robinson taking the nightwatchman role after Crawley departed late in the day.