Hurricanes head coach Chris Boyd is aware of Highlanders' interest in John Plumtree, but expects his number two to remain at the Westpac Stadium.
Assistant coach Plumtree has been strongly linked with a move to take the top job with the Super Rugby champions when Jamie Joseph takes over as Japan boss at the end of the season.
Boyd and Plumtree also worked together at Wellington Lions and Sharks before making the switch to Hurricanes.
And Boyd is optimistic their partnership will not be broken up next year.
"I'm aware of the speculation that's surfaced in the media and I'm aware of the Highlanders' desire to chase John to go down south," he said. "But his family's settled here and his boys are settled at Wellington College and he's a big family man so I'd say that his strong preference would be to stay in Wellington."
He added: "Do I think our marriage is probably reaching crisis point? No, no, no.
"We've enjoyed working together and, as I say, he gave away his position in Ireland as the forwards coach there to come back to the Hurricanes, where he felt home was.
"Hawera's his home historically, but he feels Wellington's his home in New Zealand so, yes, I think they're settled here.
"These random offers come out of left field and it's a business decision I suppose for him. But I know that his heart's here and he'll want to stay here."