/ Our Story

Established in 2000 by Merv Johnston and Linda Penno, Johnston Penno Limited was built to give employers a single destination for advice, support and representation through the entire life cycle of an employment relationship. From this broader perspective we get to know you and your staff so that you do not need to explain yourself and your business each time you need assistance.  This also puts us in a better position to identify issues in advance that will support healthy employment relations for the benefit of your business. 


Through a range of skills, experience and services we assist you to: 

  • Solve employment-related problems that need fixing now
  • Improve the people side of your business
  • Prevent/minimise employment–related risks in the future 

Our support is: 

  • Practical
  • Responsive 
  • Outcome-focused 

We work:

  • Alongside business owners and managers on specific issues
  • With in-house Human Resources managers
  • As an out-sourced HR manager for businesses which do not need an ongoing HR resource




Linda Penno BA. LLB

Employment Law Specialist / Director

Linda was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in 1988. She has specialised in employment law since the early 1990’s.


Linda’s approach to helping employers is informed by a practical perspective and many years of working in a Human Resources context alongside the other founding director of Johnston Penno.


For over 30 years Linda has worked alongside a range of small to medium sized enterprises, not-for-profits, sole traders and corporate organisations, whose businesses encompass the full range of economic activity: timber processing, education, farming, precision manufacturing, construction, residential disability services and more.


Her career history includes a number of company and not-for-profit directorships in New Zealand and internationally. She has also worked in-house in employment relations roles.










Nicki Crowther

Administration Manager

Nicki joined us for a month as a temporary Administration Manager in 2008.  She fitted in so well that she has never left.  Nicki has extensive experience in office administration and her background includes accounts, executive support, merchant banking and operating her own business.


Nicki manages Linda and the business on a part time basis alongside running a busy household. She is the first line of contact for any account enquiries or administration matters.