Wellington: New Zealand on Monday have dropped seamer Tim Southee from the 14-man squad for the second Test against South Africa in Hamilton.

Southee, who conceded 140 runs without taking a wicket in the drawn first Test, was replaced by Mark Gillespie, with leg-spinner Tarun Nethula also included to give variety to the attack for the game starting on Thursday.

"Tim Southee hasn't been included," national selection manager Kim Littlejohn said.

"He's a talented young fast bowler and we're confident he'll return to the (domestic) Plunket Shield and continue to put pressure on those in the Test team."

Littlejohn said Gillespie, 32, who returns to Test cricket after an absence of more than three years, was a "strong and reliable bowling option", who had displayed good form in the domestic competition.

He said Nethula, who is yet to make his Test debut, was bowling well and "offers a point of difference to the attack".

Opening batsman Rob Nicol retained his place despite disappointing returns of six and 19 on debut in the opening Test, which ended in a draw after the final day's play was washed out on Sunday.

The draw cost South Africa the opportunity to overtake England as the number one team in the ICC world Test rankings. The Proteas needed a clean sweep in the three-Test series to achieve the goal.

New Zealand's 14-man squad for the second Test against South Africa:

Ross Taylor (captain), Brent Arnel, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Andrew Ellis, Mark Gillespie, Martin Guptill, Chris Martin, Brendon McCullum, Tarun Nethula, Rob Nicol, Daniel Vettori, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.