Jo is Ngāi Tahu descent on her Fathers side, of Chief Te Huruhuru and Te Atiawa descent on her Mothers side, who is a Heberley. Jo has five children, is the permanent carer of another child and has one moko.
Jo was appointed as Te Rūnanga o Waihao Representative to Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu in February 2013.
Jo has been involved in a number of voluntary organisations over the years and is a passionate advocate for Māori rights, wellbeing, education, environment and economic development to ensure a positive future for whānau. She was a member of the Waihao Executive Committee for a number of years and previously held a Board position on the Canterbury West Coast Brain Injury Association.
Jo currently chairs the Board of Piki Te Ora, a Health Centre in Christchurch, and is on the Board of Te Rūnanga o Waihao Holdings Company. Jo also works as a Union Organiser for the largest private sector Union in New Zealand. This has provided Jo valuable insight and knowledge regarding the current business and economic environment.