The final will be on 6 July.
It also means Super Rugby will run uninterrupted for 21 weeks and there will be a uniform start to the tournament with a full schedule of seven matches in round one.
Previously the South African and Australian sides have kicked off the competition a week earlier than the New Zealand teams.
The Blues will host the Crusaders in their opening game and the Hurricanes are away to the Waratahs. Both those matches are on Saturday 16 February.
The finals series will also remain unchanged with each of the three Conference winners qualifying for and hosting a quarter-final.
The team with the most tournament points that is not a conference winner, regardless of conference, will host the fourth quarter-final.
This wildcard team will be joined in the quarter-finals by the next best four wildcard teams based on tournament points and regardless of conference.