Joanne was born and raised in the farming sector and is of Maori and Scots descent. Married to Pat a farmer, they have raised two sons who have now left home.
Graduating from Massey University in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science degree, Joanne returned to extramural studies in 2007 studying towards a Master’s in Business Administration.
Joanne has worked in a number of industries that include; education, local government, health and social services yet it is her 11 year tenure in the health sector at both NGO and DHB levels that she is most proud of while adding social services and health auditing to her set of executive management expertise.
She stood in Dunedin South in 2011, and while she did not win the safe Labour seat, National won the party vote by an unprecedented 5%.