Ioane, a first five-eighths with Otago since 2017, made his Super Rugby debut with the Highlanders in 2018 and made the Maori All Blacks in 2021. He made his Test debut for New Zealand against Tonga in 2019.
The move will take Ioane closer to his family in Auckland, where he attended King's College. He moved to Dunedin in 2014 to study. He played 39 games for Otago and scored 318 points, while he played 42 Super Rugby games for the Highlanders and scored 229 points.
Ioane said he was grateful for his time with the Highlanders but was looking forward to joining the Chiefs.
"They've built an amazing culture up there from what I've heard, and I admire what the Chiefs are about. Hopefully, I am able to add something to that environment," he said.
Chiefs assistant coach Clayton McMillan, who coached the side in Warren Gatland's absence with the British & Irish Lions this year, said: "Josh is a quality footballer and welcome addition to the Chiefs.
"His versatility and experience is advantageous, but more importantly, creates further depth and genuine competition for places across our backline."
Ioane was in competition with former Crusader Mitch Hunt for the starting five-eighths role in the Highlanders that resulted in him playing at fullback and second five-eighths at times.
McMillan said the competition for places brought a healthy edge to the team environment which they needed to have to foster individual and collective growth.
"I know Josh is excited about challenging himself in a new environment and we look forward to him joining the Chiefs whānau in 2022," he said.
Josh Ioane Mini Bio
Iwi: Te Rārawa
Originally from Auckland and schooled at King’s College, Josh Ioane travelled south to Dunedin in 2014 to study and play Premier club rugby for Southern RFC. Ioane made progress in the Otago Academy Development before playing age-grade Otago rugby, as well as for the Samoan Under 20 side.
His composure and running skills caught the eye of the Highlanders coaches, who called him into the Highlanders wider training squad in December 2016 for pre-season training. While he didn’t take the field in 2017, Ioane continued to develop his game and become accustomed to the higher level.
Ioane made his provincial debut for Otago against North Harbour in 2017 and eventual Super Rugby debut in 2018, ending the season with eight appearances. He took his game to another level in 2019 as the first choice 10 for the Highlanders, ending the regular season with 114 points, including 4 tries, 32 conversions and 10 penalties.