Business Women’s Network (BWN) Chair and Cooney Lees Morgan Partner, Mary Hill will be stepping down from the BWN Committee this month after 12 years of service to the Tauranga Chamber of Commerce.
Mary was a Chamber Board member from 2007-2009 and has been on the BWN Committee since that time. She has chaired the Committee for the past two years.
Cooney Lees Morgan will continue its close relationship with the BWN through Senior Associate Tanya Drummond, who is replacing Mary on the Committee.
We asked Mary to reflect on her time on the Committee and let us know what she has planned next.
Mary is a litigator specialising in resource management and local government law. She loves the varied nature of her job, including the responsibilities which come with the role of being a partner in the firm. Mary is one of two women partners at CLM. One of her career mentors, Sally Powdrell, has been a partner since the 1980s. Mary is working with her colleagues to support and encourage more women to have partnership as a goal.
As a mother of two busy boys (Luca aged 10 and Mitchell aged 9), Mary understands the challenges of juggling career and home life. She was lucky enough to have a nanny-share and work-share arrangement with a colleague while her boys were young. This enabled her to provide continuity to her team and clients, but also have flexibility and security on the home front.
She started a practice of bringing her babies to BWN meetings in the early days and has enjoyed seeing others do the same. Most recently deputy chair Gemma Hignett has brought along wee Lottie, both making valuable contributions to Committee discussions. A highlight of Mary’s time on the Committee has been the BWN conferences, which she says are always challenging and inspiring, and loads of fun.
Mary has recently accepted an appointment as President of the Resource Management Law Association. The RMLA is a national organisation for resource management practitioners across a range of disciplines including the judiciary, lawyers, planners, economists and more. It promotes best practice through education, debate and commentary. Mary expects to be busy in that role because the government has recently announced a major review of the resource management system. She’s excited about the opportunity to lead the RMLA though what promises to be the biggest period of change since the Resource Management Act was introduced in 1991.
Mary is often asked for tips on how she manages to achieve the elusive work life balance. Her key strategies are being kind to herself, having fun, practicing yoga, and having an amazing team and husband. She notes that the last one may not be universally achievable.