The Education Review Office says the Maori college, Hato Petera, needs to make several improvements, but its hostel is in good shape.
Located on Auckland's North Shore, Hato Petera is a co-educational state-funded Maori Catholic school.
Among its past students are the first Maori Catholic priest, Father Wiremu Te Awhitu, academic Professor Ranginui Walker and artist Ralph Hotere.
The Education Review Office (ERO) says several problems are having a negative effect on the school's performance and students achievement.
It has recommended the college's board seek outside help to improve the school's finances, its self-review processes and the quality of its student assessment.
The Office says an innovative curriculum is needed which better aligns to the students' career paths.
It is also recommending the Secretary of Education help the school raise its students' achievement.
However the ERO says the college's new principal is making a positive difference.
And its four hostels which accomodate 80 students - most of the school's roll - provide a good environment.
The college will be reviewed again in one to two years.