Joanna brings her passion and proven skills to help organisations realise their potential, drawing on her experience leading national and international bodies. She combines rigorous analysis with honed intuition, and brings an engaging approach that fosters collaboration and builds trust.
Joanna works extensively with executive teams and boards, providing practical services to high client satisfaction in strategy, governance, and organisational performance.
She brings substantial experience at chief executive and governance levels, and draws her advice from a rich perspective built through her work and connections with diverse communities, including iwi and Māori, and in national and international arenas.
Joanna has worked extensively in multi-stakeholder environments, where interests are not always aligned. She is adept at navigating different perspectives, and helping disparate groups and individuals identify and agree on a shared way forward.
Before joining MartinJenkins Joanna was Chief Executive of the New Zealand Human Rights Commission for two five-year terms. She grew the Commission from its initial anti-discrimination focus to become the country’s first broad-based national human rights institution. Joanna also managed the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions, developing it from a loose network to an aligned peak body that is influential within the UN.
Until March 2020 Joanna was Co-Chair of Oxfam New Zealand, and a member of the Board of Oxfam International (OI). As Chair of the OI’s Governance Committee she led a major reform of Oxfam’s global governance to ensure it maintained its credibility and effectiveness in a rapidly changing world.
Examples of Joanna's work with MartinJenkins
Providing significant support for the reform of New Zealand’s fire services, one of the most complex and successful sector changes in recent times. This included designing the initial arrangements for the work to establish Fire and Emergency New Zealand as a new Crown entity, and the strategy and roadmap to build the organisation.
Conducting a wide range of independent reviews encompassing governance assurance, organisational performance, and good regulatory practice within both central and local government, and considering arrangements between organisations and their primary government funder. Examples include reviews for Sport New Zealand, the Ministry of Health, ACC, Auckland Council, and Timaru District Council.
Supporting organisations to improve outcomes for Māori. At Fire and Emergency NZ, Joanna designed a national programme to strengthen partnerships with iwi and Māori and to reduce harm from fire for Māori. She also supported NZ Police to refresh Te Huringa o Te Tai, the prevention strategy to reduce offending and harm from crashes for Māori, and Auckland Council on arrangements to advance its Māori Outcomes Priorities.
Developing a comprehensive business case to secure independent funding for an NGO that sought to grow and extend its mahi advancing wellbeing for women, girls and their whānau who are experiencing financial and economic disadvantage.
Leading Auckland Unlimited’s annual process for board appointments to the Auckland War Memorial Museum and Museum of Transport and Technology, and acting as the independent advisor on governance arrangements.
Joanna has an MA and a BA from Oxford University (UK) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. She is also a graduate of the Australia and New Zealand School of Government (ANZOG) Executive Fellows Programme.