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Southland announced yesterday it had signed McKenzie for the 2019 Mitre 10 Cup season.
McKenzie played 26 games for Southland in 2011-13 before heading off to play for Taranaki.
McKenzie (26) has turned out for three Super Rugby sides, having played for the Blues in 2013, the Chiefs and the Crusaders.
He joined the Chiefs last year and is contracted to the franchise again this season.
He did not play for Taranaki in last year's Mitre 10 Cup because of injury.
With Taranaki looking to offload players to cut costs, McKenzie has moved back to the place of his birth.
He will be used by the Southland side as a first five-eighth, replacing James Wilson, who has picked up a contract with Bath in England.
McKenzie, who is the older brother of All Black utility back Damian McKenzie, was born and raised in Gore and has also played for the New Zealand Colts and Maori All Blacks.
Southland coach Dave Hewett said McKenzie was a great addition to the team.
''It's great to have a player with his experience at Super Rugby level in what is quite a young Stags side. He'll replace the experience that James Wilson brought last season,'' Hewett said.
McKenzie was excited about his return South.
''It's an exciting time for Rugby Southland. The team has made some huge progress and I'm confident that we'll have a good season. It'll be good to be back home and wearing the Southland jersey again,'' McKenzie said.