Havili's experience in big games was considered important in the selection and it was important to take the chance to have fullback Will Jordan on the field at the same time, Robertson said.
"Dave's got a great kicking game and he plays well in these big ones," he said.
"Dave's skills sets are amazing, he can slot in anywhere. It's one of his special talents he can play from 10 out to fullback. His kicking game is incredible, he's got composure and he's slotted right in there and quite enjoyed it."
If it had been a final they could have played regular starter and All Black Richie Mo'unga but they were thinking more in the long term and it was a case of looking after Mo'unga.
Havili would be up against one of the players of the moment in former All Black Aaron Cruden. Robertson said Cruden had shown he was all class in his first outing with his experience coming through.
Robertson said George Bridge was looking forward to his first start of the season.
"He's jumping, he's always got a bit of energy…probably a little bit extra this week. It's been a long time since he's played. With Sevu [Reece] being on the other wing it's a great combination for us," he said.
Prop Joe Moody was also having his first start after he was given an extra week off to ensure he was refreshed which had been perfect.
Robertson said the Chiefs were very 'Gatland-like'. They were resilient as they had shown against the Blues and he instilled a lot of belief in his players and they showed that in Auckland.
Chiefs teams traditionally had the ability to play with spontaneity but they also did the little things well.
"We love playing them. They are great games and it's going to be great for Super Rugby on Saturday.
"Derbies are always great. It's the last year of derbies so it's important we embrace them and enjoy them and, again, they've been great battles over the last few years or the last decade so Saturday night should be another one," he said.
The game could see Robertson notch a 50th win as coach but he said while results were nice he was happier with the way players developed not only in rugby but in also achieving qualifications and developing family lives.
"You get 50 games but you get a lot more out of it when you live day-to-day and connect with a lot of people so they go hand-in-hand," he said.