Life has turned full circle for solicitor John Waugh, who is the face behind the new legal office in Matakana, Devonport Law.
After more than 20 years working in the specialised field of institutional banking on both sides of the Tasman, John is back working in the community with farmers, small business people and individuals.
“A lot of people have problems with their banks, so my experience in banking isn’t going astray,” he jokes.
John and wife Moira McInerney, a medical management consultant, bought land in Matakana in 2015 and moved here permanently two years ago. The shift meant a daily commute to Devonport Law’s offices that John shares with co-owner and fellow director, Cushla Webster.
“It was taking me nearly two hours every morning just to get to work, so a northern office really started to make sense. Warkworth’s designation as a satellite town and the construction of the new motorway will bring a lot of new people to the area, so a Matakana-based legal service will mean they will be able to access advice without having to travel.”
John and Cushla formed Devonport Law in 2015, independently bringing to the new practice a wealth of financial and family law experience. Other team members include legal executive Emma O’Reilly and PA Trudie Smith.
“After graduating, John went to work in Sydney for one of Australia’s largest law firms at the time. This was followed by a 23-year career in institutional banking, both in Australia and NZ.
“When clients come to us with financial problems, I can draw on that experience to help them manage their way out of trouble so the family assets are protected,” he says.
John says the move north to Matakana was not a difficult one as he had spent a lot of timing surfing at Forestry, Pakiri and Goat Island in his youth. He also likes to hunt, fish and cook.
“I’ve always loved the outdoors and my sons are just the same. I had the distinction of winning the Whangaripo Wild Food competition a couple of years ago with my Moroccan venison ragout and last year, my smoked haunch of venison was runner-up!