Our People

EWBNZ is kept running by some passionate and dedicated people.

Carys Everett - Executive Director

Carys_Everett.JPGIn 1998 Carys was fortunate to meet an engineer who had spent many years working in Africa assisting the local community to develop simple water supply systems.  Carys quickly realised that civil engineering was the perfect career choice and studied a Masters of Engineering at the University of Bristol.  With itchy feet Carys moved to New Zealand in 2007 and joined the Auckland Professionals Chapter of Engineers Without Borders New Zealand in 2009.

Carys is passionate about humanitarian engineering and community development (especially toilets and water supply) and in 2012 was given the opportunity to undertake a placement with EWB Australia in Cambodia.  Carys worked with East Meets West, an international non-governmental organisation, to establish their Water and Sanitation programmes in Cambodia.  Returning to New Zealand in early 2014, Carys was and still is excited to continue involvement with EWBNZ as Executive Director.  Carys intends to use her time to inspire many more humanitarian engineering leaders and develop strong partnerships to fulfill EWB's vision.

Varun Purushotham - Learning and Change Manager

Varun.jpgVarun, a recent addition to our management team, completed his BE (Mechanical) from the University of Auckland in 2012 and subsequently joined EWBNZ as an Auckland chapter committee member. Varun has since worked on different projects and in various roles within EWBNZ. He currently works as an engineer in Fisher and Paykel Healthcare. His interests lie in understanding geopolitics and the complex topic of sustainable economic development.

Varun's vision for the Learning and Change space is to provide opportunities of learning and awareness about humanitarianism to stakeholders at all age and academic levels. Through this process, he also aims to develop EWBNZ's volunteers to enable them to be ethical leaders of our future.

Dane Hart - Leadership and Training Manager

Dane_Hart.jpgDane is the Leadership and Training Manager and steers EWBNZ's member-focused programs as well as looking after relationships with external partners. Dane joined the team as a student in 2008 and has spent time as the President of the Canterbury Students' Chapter, the Research Team Manager and the Dialogues on Development Team Manager.

Prior to studying Natural Resources Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Dane spent a year living with a community in rural Vanuatu, an experience that has both shaped his passion for engineering and development as well as been the basis for many a story repeated ad infinitum.
Dane is currently a member of the Christchurch water team at Tonkin + Taylor and in his spare moments plays rugby, tramps and gets out stand-up paddle boarding. He also enjoys developing a good Excel spreadsheet if there is time.

Jen Johnstone - Working With Communities Manager

Jen_Johnstone.jpegJen heads up the Working With Communities team, which is the part of EWB that carries out projects and placements. She's been involved with EWB since 2011, and is passionate about making a real difference in the communities we work in.

She is currently in the Water team at Beca in Christchurch. She's undertaken a couple of international development placements, one through EWB in Ambrym, Vanuatu, and one in Pondicherry, India.

Anita Cheng - Operations Manager


Anita Cheng is a founding member of EWBNZ. Throughout her time with EWBNZ she has worked on two renewable energies projects in Tonga, was Board Secretary and Board Treasurer from 2013-2015 and is now Operations and Organisational Development Manager. Anita completed a BE in Biomedical Engineering and recently started her own business. She is passionate about social development, sustainable living, innovation, and elephants!

Richard Neate - Corporate Partnerships Manager

Stick_Man.pngBio and photograph coming soon!

Rob Cardwell - Board Chair


Rob joined EWBNZ as a founding member in 2008 in the Canterbury Students chapter. Since then he has worked in various roles in the organisation.  Rob has a BE in Mechatronics and a Master of Engineering Management. By day Rob works in economics research. He is currently undertaking a PhD at the University of Auckland in Economics and Civil Engineering to develop tools for resilience building strategies.

Rob is passionate about EWB because of the difference technology can make to the world and people’s lives. What opportunities in our lives have been enabled by computers, jet airliners, cars, cell phones and refrigeration? What if we can make these technologies accessible to everyone? How much longer and happier would people’s lives be? And these questions aren’t just dreams. The global community is on track to end extreme poverty within a generation. (Check out what the Gates Foundation has to say if this is news to you!) What could we turn our attention to with extreme poverty out of the way?!

And if he’s not working you are likely to find Rob reading, playing guitar, at CrossFit, playing basketball, or hiking.


Deb Godinet - Board Member


Deb Godinet joined the EWB board two years ago and has enjoyed the opportunity to contribute to this fantastic organisation. The breadth of the projects delivered from an entirely volunteer base and the real difference that is making is truly amazing. Deb has recently been appointed the role of Head of Real Estate and Infrastructure for the New Zealand Defence Force following her role as the Group Manager of Property and Planning at Auckland Transport. Her professional background is in law and she holds a masters in planning practice. Deb's career to date has spanned private legal practice, and local government including transport infrastructure projects.  Deb is also an alumni of Leadership New Zealand - a  programme which focuses on growing New Zealand leaders to address the very complex economic, environmental and social and cultural issues we're facing in New Zealand. This programme enabled Deb to build on the work she'd done at the Darden Leadership course, run by Darden University through Ernst and Young. Deb is committed to serving her community through volunteering with EWB, the St John Northern Region Trust Board and Rising Voices Youth Poetry Trust as a board member.  Deb previously contributed to the West Auckland Women's Centre as a board member and chair.  Deb is proud to be a member of  EWB and enjoys the opportunity to contribute her skills.  As a New Zealander of Samoan descent, Deb feels a very personal satisfaction in being involved in an organisation making a difference in the Pacific.

Jenny Chu - Board Member


Jenny has been on the EWBNZ board for 4 years and her focus to date has been on policy development, compliance with CID membership code, and fostering strategic partnerships and support within client sector of the New Zealand engineering industry. Jenny also serves on the board of UNICEF New Zealand and Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute.

Jenny was one of the Auckland students that started in EWBNZ in 2008, before getting the travel bug to go away in the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen and World Expo in Shanghai. Upon returning to New Zealand, Jenny took on the role as Learning and Change Director of EWBNZ where she provided strategic direction and coordination for EWBNZ Learning and Change programmes (since then it has been split further into Learning and Change, and Leadership and Training ).


Jenny has a BE/BLLB and is currently involved with delivering major infrastructure projects in Auckland. Jenny has a keen interest in urban planning, community resilience, international development, travel, good reading and great food.

Manjit Devgun - Board Member

Manjit_Devgun.jpgManjit has a Masters degrees in engineering (ME Civil) and management (MBA), with 28 years of professional experience in diverse engineering fields including water, roading and energy sectors. In addition to working in New Zealand and India, his work experience includes commercial management of projects in developing countries funded by the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, in his role as Commercial Manager (International) for Opus, Wellington. Manjit was on the panel of Staff Assessors for Engineering NZ (IPENZ at the time) for over 5 years, and has used his experience to mentor and prepare various engineering graduates to achieve their professional engineering registrations. Currently, he is working as 3-waters Infrastructure Planning Engineer for Hamilton City Council. Manjit has been on the Board of EWBNZ since August 2016, providing governance inputs using his diverse experience.

Ben Sherriff - Board Member

Ben_Sherriff.pngBen is a Chartered Engineer with 10+ years experience in the transportation and asset management sectors in both New Zealand and Canada, including complex projects such as the management of operations and maintenance of the Auckland Harbour Bridge.  Ben's initial involvement with EWBNZ was undertaking the feasibility and design work for the MFAT Rainwater Harvesting project in Kiribati in 2010.  Having returned from Vancouver with his young family, and witnessing the challenges faced by communities in developing countries during his travels, Ben re-engaged with EWBNZ.  Over the past year of involvement with the EWBNZ Board, Ben has been inspired by the enthusiasm and drive of our volunteers, but can also see significant opportunities for improvement and growing our organisational influence.  Ben is seeking re-election to the EWBNZ Board with the aim of working with the wider EWBNZ family to put his experience and industry connections to best use to assist in achieving our Vision.