“Although I grew up in the Wellington region, Manawatū has been home to me for many years. It is here that I have settled. My husband and I decided that Manawatū was the best place to raise a family and continue dairy farming. Here we are central to many of the lower North Island locations with access to further education and a number of career opportunities whether in research, primary industries, logistics to name a few. I’m proud to be able to call Manawatū home.”
In 2020, Johanna Wood led the successful campaign to bring FIFA Women’s World Cup to New Zealand and Australia in 2023, it will be one of the largest sporting events ever hosted in New Zealand.
Johanna is the first women President of New Zealand Football and one of three Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) representatives on the FIFA Council. Her governance journey, in football, began at club level before becoming Chair of Central Football covering Manawatū, Hawke’s Bay, and Taranaki.
Johanna moved to Manawatū as a student, to study the German language at Massey University. With her other half from the region, and dairy farming soon becoming her future, Johanna moved onto her husband’s family dairy farm while beginning her teaching career which culminated as a Principal of Queen Elizabeth College for nine years. Raising her family on the Hiwinui farm, Johanna spent many hours on the sidelines of the football field watching her children play.
Spending days watching sport was nothing new to Johanna, as she grew up watching her father play and, while girls weren’t actually allowed to play in Johanna’s youth, she got to know the game well and developed a passion for it.
In 2021, at the Halberg Awards, Johanna was awarded the Sport New Zealand Leadership Award, only the third woman to ever win the award and the first football representative. In 2020 Johanna was also named a finalist in the Women of Influence Awards in the Global category.
Johanna has a passion for promoting women in sports governance roles, on receiving the Sport New Zealand Leadership award Johanna commented that “it’s about having women visible both on and off the pitch.”