Defending champion Terry Price will be joined by 1999 British Open champ Paul Lawrie in the event which is a part of the official European Tour schedule for the first time.
First played back in 1907, the New Zealand Open will this year be co-sanctioned by both the European Tour and the Australasian Tour.
In the 88th staging of the event, Australian Peter Thompson still holds the record for most wins with a total of nine. His first came in 1950 and the last of his nine titles came in 1971. Andy Shaw leads the host country with sevens wins.
Nick Dougherty, fresh off his first-ever tour victory two weeks ago at the Caltex Masters, also is slated to tee it up in hopes of making this his breakout year.
Nicknamed 'Little Nick' after his early tutelage with six-time major winner Nick Faldo, Dougherty is currently third on the European Tour's Order of Merit money list.
The 22-year-old Englishman showed signs of that breakout performance a week prior to his victory with a tie for 4th at the South African Airways Open. The winner of the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year in 2002, Dougherty has already almost matched his money total from all of 2004.
The tour heads north next week for the Carlsberg Malaysian Open at Saujana Golf and Country Club in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.