RNZI reports the Highlanders ran in seven tries to two, including a hat-trick to utility back Matt Faddes, to knock the Blues out of finals contention with two rounds remaining.
The Lions lead the standings, after thrashing fellow South Africans the Sharks 37-10 earlier on Sunday morning in Johannesburg.
But just four points separate the Lions, Chiefs, Crusaders, Hurricanes and Highlanders at the top of the table.
On Saturday night the Hurricanes beat the Blues 37-27 in Wellington.
Highlanders wing Patrick Osborne Photo: PHOTOSPORT