Taylor and Southee both missed last month's South Africa series in which New Zealand were well beaten by their hosts but they return for the opener in a three-match series starting in Dunedin on March 6.
Bruce Martin, Hamish Rutherford and Tom Latham are all in contention to make their Test debuts.
Martin, a 32-year-old left-arm spinner, was in the Test squad in South Africa but did not make the playing XI, while young batsmen Rutherford and Latham have only featured in the shorter forms of the game for the national side.
Opener Peter Fulton, who suffered a knee injury ruling him out of South Africa, has been recalled after last playing for the Black Caps in a Test in 2009.
He is set to play, with Rutherford and Latham vying to partner him at the top of the order.
Head coach Mike Hesson said on blackcaps.co.nz: "We picked Peter to tour South Africa and he would have played there if he hadn't been injured.
"That leaves young Hamish and Tom to battle for the other opening spot. They've been in good form and are both products of our successful New Zealand A programme."
Bowlers Mitchell McClenaghan (side) and Daniel Vettori (Achilles), and batsman Martin Guptill (thumb) are unavailable for the Test series due to injury. Veteran paceman Chris Martin (hamstring) is unavailable for the first Test.
Squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Dean Brownlie, Peter Fulton, Tom Latham, Bruce Martin, Hamish Rutherford, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.