Mauger will take over as coach of the Super Rugby outfit for the 2018 season onwards. 

The 36-year-old, who retired from playing in 2010 due a back injury, has signed a three-year deal with the Highlanders. 

Mauger had previously been head coach of the Leicester Tigers in the English Premiership.

"I feel very honoured to join the Highlanders family and to lead the Highlanders as head coach," Mauger said in a statement.

"The club has become a consistent performer at the top of the competition in recent years and we look forward to the challenge of growing our game and achieving great things as a club.

"The Highlanders have a solid foundation of good core values and a tight knit culture.  It’s a credit to all those who have worked hard to establish an environment that allows people to express themselves and thrive as individuals.

"I am excited at the prospect of working with this team to help further the Highlanders and grow our connections with fans across the region, and around the globe.  We want to deliver a type of rugby that makes them all proud to wear our colours."

Highlanders CEO Roger Clark added: "We are very excited to welcome Aaron Mauger as our Head Coach for next three Investec Super Rugby campaigns.  He is a high calibre coach and we are stoked to share this news with Highlanders fans."