In 46 games for the Blues, he has only tallied 16 tries, and just one in the last two competitions.
The Fiji-born 24-year-old told The Sunday News: "I still don't believe I've made my name yet in the Super 14.
"I've had a go at that every year but now I've got a chance to have a good pre-season, go into camp and just start with the basics."
And a greater ratio for the Aucklanders will help him fill the gap left with the departure of Howlett - Super rugby's most prolific try-scorer.
"I want to follow in the footsteps that Doug laid, the standard that he carried onto every competition he did," he added.
"Those are the kind of standards I look at and where I want to put my standards is at the same levels as guys like that.
"It's a time for the guys who have been here for a while to step up as well because some key senior players have left, especially Doug in the backline.
"I'm missing him tremendously. It's quite strange coming to training and not seeing his smile or hearing his humour. Also we haven't got his professionalism around now.
"We're going to miss his leadership especially and just the aura he brings into the team.
"Certain players in New Zealand have that amount of respect and can bring that aura into a team and Doug was one of them. But we've still got a team that's excited about having a good season this year.
"I can't shove myself straight in there and take his (Howlett's) role to try to take too much of a senior role.
"But I'm looking to take an extra step each week and develop skills from the leadership group, like asking for advice in how to develop leadership skills.
"I guess I've learnt things along the way from Doug, like how trainings should be done and that everything should be at 100."