The 30 year-old winger, who has played 27 Tests for the All Blacks, moved to the Northern Hemisphere in 2019 to link up with London Irish.
He was released by the Premiership club having only made four appearances due to injury.
Naholo swaps the amber and black of Taranaki for the red and black of Canterbury, having spent eight seasons with Taranaki in the NPC previously.
Canterbury co-coach Reuben Thorne is delighted to have a player like Naholo join their squad.
“Everyone knows what sort of player Waisake is, he’s played 27 times for the All Blacks and has a wealth of experience at Super and NPC level, so we’re really excited to have him in our squad this year.”
Naholo is one of seven new players in the 32-man squad, with Australia first five-eighth Jack Debreczeni and Samoan No 8 Henry Stowers also in the mix.
The Bunnings NPC kicks off on Friday 6 August, with Manawatu hosting Counties Manukau in Palmerston North.