Jamie Joseph has signed on for a further two years as Highlanders coach.
The 42-year-old former All Black and Otago representative took up his first season with the Highlanders in 2010 following coaching success with the New Zealand Maori and the Wellington Lions and has brought credibility back to a franchise that was underperforming.
Sorensen said Joseph's re-signing was great news for New Zealand rugby and for the Highlanders.
"Under Jamie's watch the Highlanders have experienced some fantastic results and they have delivered some thrilling rugby in Investec Super Rugby,'' NZRU general manager professional rugby Neil Sorensen said.
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 a Super Rugby final,'' he said.
The Highlanders finished eighth in 2010 and are currently sitting in ninth in the Super Rugby competition with the team on a bye in the last week of the regular season. The team has a 9-7 win-loss record this season which includes spectacular early-season wins against the Chiefs, Crusaders and Hurricanes _ all New Zealand teams still in contention for a Finals berth.