Jono Gibbes was granted an early release from Ulster citing family reasons for his departure.
The Red and Blacks go back-to-back with a clinical win over Tasman.
Victory against North Harbour on Sunday will guarantee Taranaki first place on the ladder.
The Canterbury boss has signed a two-year deal with the 2015 champions.
Trailing 21-10 at halftime, Canterbury announced their title credentials with a dominant second 40.
Auckland has lost five of seven games to sit perilously close to the bottom of the Premiership table.
A streaking Northland side are looking to repay the loyalty of their fans.
The lock last played for the All Blacks during their win over Italy last year.
The departing centre has admits he has struggled with the semi-professional environment of the Mitre 10 Cup.
Braydon Ennor, originally from Auckland, has signed a two-year deal with the Super Rugby champions.
Bay of Plenty grabbed their second win of the season in a scrappy affair against Manawatu.
A 27-18 win kept North Harbour's unbeaten start to the season alive.