After moving serenely through the group stages, the Kiwis are not expected to encounter any serious trouble when they enter the sudden-death phase against surprise quarter-finalists Scotland at Headingley on Friday night.
However, loose forward Elijah Taylor is warning his team-mates to be wary of the danger posed by experienced half-backs Danny Brough and Peter Wallace and his former team-mate Henderson.
"Ian Henderson used to be a former New Zealand Warrior and in my first year in first grade, I was his training partner," Taylor said. "He is a tough bloke and a smart footballer.
"Scotland's whole spine is outstanding. If you watched them against Italy, their halves were kicking really early so we have got to be prepared for that.
"It will be a good challenge playing against Scotland. We had a hard training session last night so nobody is taking anything for granted. "
Henderson, who also played in Super League for Bradford, missed Scotland's last match, the 22-8 win over USA, with a knee injury but makes a timely return, with veteran hooker Ben Fisher ruled out with a torn calf muscle.
The Bravehearts also welcome back centre Kane Linnett, who has recovered from a rib injury, and that will enable Danny Addy to revert to the second row to help plug the gap created by the suspension of Dale Ferguson.
New Zealand coach Stephen Kearney will make at least four changes to the team that beat Papua New Guinea in their last group match.
Skipper Simon Mannering, prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and second rower Frank Pritchard all return after being rested a nd Kevin Locke will take over at full-back from Josh Hoffman, who went off with a shoulder injury in the 52-10 victory over the Kumuls.
The Kiwis say Hoffman is expected to recover in time but Kearney said: "I think Kevin is the best man for the job this week."
Taylor is expected to get a spot on the bench and may be asked to provide cover at dummy half following the loss of former Wigan hooker or half-back Thomas Leuluai with a recurrence of a groin injury.
"I have always been a utility player all of my career so I am more than willing to put my hand up for whatever position or task the coach sets me and do the best for my country and do the best that I can for the jersey," Taylor said.