Much time and consideration is given to the forming of classes ensuring a complete academic mix; a gender balance; a race balance; a social balance; and a matching of student weakness and needs with teachers strengths.

Students work in their home room with their own teacher for most subjects although there is regrouping for some subjects such as Mathematics and Technology subjects - students may have a different teacher for these subjects. Houses work as a team and share classes especially for subjects like Physical Education. This provides security for the students who identify first with their class teacher, then their syndicate team, and then finally the school. Students at HNI have a real pride in their school.

The Houses are named after famous New Zealanders:

Sheppard (Red)

Nepia (White)

Te Kanawa (Blue)

Hillary (Yellow)