Regional Profile – Northland Co-Chairs


Sarah Shaw

Tena koutou

I have worked in the RMA and local government arena for 20 years, with five of those in the UK and the rest based in my home town of Whangarei in Northland. Both sides of my whanau hail from the Kaipara: my father from Dargaville, and my mother from the wild west coast of Baylys Beach. I grew up on the white sands of the east coast, at Marsden Point, Ruakaka and Matapouri. Northland is a beautiful place to call home.

I have worked as a planner and as a lawyer, as in-house counsel and as employed solicitor in a firm, and for the past two years as a barrister and qualified as a hearings commissioner. I have spent a lot of my career working in and for local authorities, particularly on policy and plan development.

I love the variety of RMA work, and in particular the people we are privileged to spend our time with – colleagues, clients and experts.

Working in any specialist field in the provinces can be extremely isolating. A great strength of the RMLA is creating those critical opportunities for CPD and collaborative conversations, and I am delighted to co-Chair RMLA Northland.

Jo Baguley

Tena koutou

I am probably the most northern RMLA member in NZ, based in Kerikeri, in the sunny Bay of Islands.   I have my own practice, Atlas Legal Limited, and our client base stretches from Kaitaia to Whangarei.

My passion is resource management and local government work.  I have acted for the Far North District Council for many years on all Environment Court and judicial review matters.  I also act for Councils, submitters, landowners and community groups in the Whangarei region.

I thrive on the diversity of our communities up north – set within a heady mix of historic heritage, tourism, rural and horticultural operators, iwi and cashed-up Aucklanders and swallows (wintering ex-pats).

As co-chair, I am hoping to engage more of our co-professionals in the mid-North with the RMLA as it provides a fantastic networking opportunity and a sound platform for keeping on top of current issues.