The 29-year-old last played for the national team in February 2012 after a self-enforced break following off-field disciplinary issues.
Earlier this year he served a six-month doping ban and survived an assault that left him in a coma with serious head injuries.
“Jesse gives us added fire power at the top of the order and he has a proven international record,” national selection general manager Buce Edgar said.
Ryder moved south to Otago earlier this year to rejuvenate his career and has been in strong form in first class cricket, scoring two centuries and two scores in the 80s to average more than 60 in four games this season.
He is likely to open the batting with Martin Guptill, who has recovered from ankle and finger injuries that ruled him out of the recent series in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
“We know that Martin is a quality player at this level,” said Edgar.
“You only need to look at his dominance in the one-day series in England during the year where he scored 189 not out and 103 not out.
“His dynamic fielding is also a valuable asset for the team.”
Luke Ronchi has been handed the wicketkeeping gloves after coach Mike Hesson said 32-year-old captain Brendon McCullum, who has been battling a long-term back injury, was too valuable a player to continue to occupy the gruelling position.
Three all-rounders, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham and Colin Munro have been included in the side with Nathan McCullum the only specialist spinner, though his batting has been valuable to the lower order in recent seasons.
The first match of the series is on December 26 at Eden Park in Auckland, with the second game in Napier on December 29.
Selectors will re-assess the squad after the game at McLean Park as they continue to build their team for the 2015 World Cup that New Zealand will co-host with Australia.
New Zealand one-day squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Nathan McCullum, Adam Milne, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan.
(Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ian Ransom)