Joanna Paul was born in Hamilton and was educated at Silverdale Primary School, Berkely Intermediate and Hillcrest High School. She studied various papers including Anthropology at the University of Waikato and University of Auckland, before accepting an offer to work as a trainee programme director with Radio Bay of Plenty. She attended Mervyn Thompson’s drama course in Auckland for a short period and worked as a jobbing actor. Paul has worked as a Programme Producer for RNZ (Radio), researcher/production manager, producer/director for film and TV, news anchor, senior journalist, freelance presenter, media consultant/trainer, public relations consultant, actor in New Zealand and overseas and writer. She was the first assistant director for Merata Mita during the filming of Mauri. She worked as a presenter on "Wildtrack" in Dunedin and then began working for TV3’s "Nightline" and was TV3’s news anchor. She left TV3 to take up a current affairs role as a senior journalist/anchor with Frontline and 60 Minutes. She then returned to freelance production and started her own companies specialising in media consultancy, public relations, film and TV production and training. She has written short stories, fiction, travel/lifestyle, health feature writing, TV current affairs writing, drama writing, non-fiction and has had a regular column in the NZ Woman’s Weekly. She has worked as a researcher for the Waikato University Environmental Unit. She is now concentrating on launching a new baby/children’s line of clothing. She identifies herself with her father’s tribe and with Te Rere Atu Kehua Marae.
- Correspondence from Joanna Paul, 12 February and 3 June, 1998.
- Paul, Joanna. "Father." My Father and Me: New Zealand Women Remember. Auckland, N.Z.: Tandem, 1992. 88-90.
- Nissen, Wendyl. "Joanna Paul." Filling the Frame: Profiles of 18 New Zealand Women. Photography by Jenny Scown. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1992. 126-133.
- "Joanna Paul." Filling the Frame: Profiles of 18 New Zealand Women. Photography by Jenny Scown. Text by Wendyl Nissen. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1992. 126-133.
- Paul speaks of her childhood years, of being the peacemaker in the family, of longing to please people, and her career in acting, producing and television work.
- "Made In Hamilton." Growing up Māori. Ed. Witi Ihimaera. Auckland, N.Z.: Tandem, 1998. 236-240.
- "Conversations at the Clinic." Te Ao Mārama: Contemporary Māori Writing. Comp. and ed. Witi Ihimaera. Contributing ed. Haare Williams, Irihapeti Ramsden and D. S. Long. Vol. 5: Te Torino: The Spiral. Auckland, N.Z.: Reed, 1996. 31-32.
- The conversations of children waiting at the clinic at Te Kaha.
- Eel. Written by Hone Tuwhare. Dir. Joanna Paul.
- Eel was screened on TV in 1989.
- He Who Cracks The Whip. Prod. Tuakana Productions and NZ Film Commission, 1996.
- Short film.
- "Whakawatea." A Work of Art. Prod. Tahi Films and Tuakana Production, TVNZ. 1998.
- A short dramatic script.
- "Father." My Father And Me: New Zealand Women Remember. Ed. Penelope Hansen. Auckland, N.Z.: Tandem, 1992. 88-90.
- Paul presents a portrait of her father and her relationship with him which initially was focused on trying to win his approval and attempting to be the son her father had hoped for.
- A Baby for Beginners. Wellington, N.Z.: Random House, 1997.
- Paul writes a humorous account of the trials and joys of coming to terms with her pregnancy, childbirth and coping with parenthood.
- "Joanna Paul Interview." Te Iwi Te Iwi o Aotearoa 40 (Jan 1991): 7.
- Paul discusses her work as a news presenter on TV3.