Highlanders coach Jamie Joseph has agreed to continue coaching the Highlanders for another two more Super Rugby seasons.
The 42-year-old former All Black and Otago flanker took charge of the Highlanders in 2011 after coaching the New Zealand Maori and the Wellington Lions.
In his first season Joseph led the Highlanders to eighth place and narrowly missed out on the play offs.
This year the Highlanders were hit by a horror run of injuries but they still threatened the leading Super Rugby teams and won nine out of their 16 Super rugby clashes.
NZRU general manager professional rugby Neil Sorensen said that Joseph extending his contract was great news for the Highlanders and for New Zealand rugby.
"Jamie has helped to re-ignite the Highlanders and their supporters and it's great to see the team doing so well. This re-signing will be a great anchor for the Highlanders next two campaigns as they look to push for a Finals berth.
"Under Jamie's watch the Highlanders have experienced some fantastic results and they have delivered some thrilling rugby in Super Rugby," Sorensen said.
Highlanders General Manager Roger Clark said they were excited about the opportunity to continue working with Joseph.
"Having Jamie re-sign for another two years is a great result for the Highlanders and this will allow the franchise to build on the outstanding progress made since his arrival.
He has added so much value to the team and business over the past two seasons, and he'll be a central part of our next two seasons."
Jamie Joseph said with just two seasons he had plenty of unfinished business. "I have really enjoyed my first two years with the Highlanders and I wanted to commit to the team and franchise as soon as possible. "
"I have been fortunate to have a great group of committed and hard-working players with me, as well as a supportive coaching and management team, and a very energetic franchise organisation.
"We've made some real progress over the last couple of seasons, and I want to remain because I have my sights on a very clear goal " to take the Highlanders to an Super Rugby Final," he said.