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The 22-year-old, who spent three years in the Otago Mitre 10 Cup team, is understood to be heading to Waikato.
An announcement is expected from the Waikato team this afternoon.
Having come south after attending both Nelson College and Christchurch Boys' High School, Smith was a university student and played for the University club.
At Super Rugby level he made his Highlanders debut against the Kings in 2016 and remains with the team.