The Universal Team

Our dedicated and experienced team is the integral heart and soul of all we do, from each of our successes and learnings to our personalised and caring customer service. Our crew is the bedrock of our solid and reliable reputation. Since our establishment in 1959, our team has championed our triple key principles of outstanding quality, great value, and commitment to continuous innovation for you.

Debbie Landale

Chief Financial Officer

021 777 341

With a Bachelor of Commerce and over 30 years of financial experience working at Universal Homes, Debbie’s exceptional eye for detail, ability to accurately forecast present and future commitments, and stay on budget serves her well as Chief Financial Officer. Debbie is a Chartered Accountant and has also been involved with the development and implementation of new IT systems. 

Sunil Prasad

Project Director

021 415 272

With a background in design and drafting, Sunil is a licensed building practitioner with over 25 years’ of experience in planning and design. Experienced in large commercial and residential developments, he is passionate about creating beautiful, functional, affordable homes. Sunil is the Project Director for the master-planned West Hills, and has led the planning and design for many Universal developments including Hobsonville Point, Long Bay, Millwater, and Northcote.

Kennedy Tan

Development Director

021 786 468

With over 13 years of experience in the property industry, Kennedy is well versed in all facets of the industry including property development, sales and marketing, construction, and finance. Kennedy works closely with the CEO and CFO at Universal Homes on company budgets, forecasts, business plans, and corporate strategies. Kennedy holds a Bachelor of Property degree, as well as an MBA majoring in operations and management.  Any enquires for Land Development sales, please contact Kennedy.

Grant Coutts

Construction Manager

021 505 491

Grant brings a rich breadth of experience and knowledge to his role as Construction Manager. He has worked at Universal Homes for over 15 years. Grant expertly manages our large teams of subcontractors and suppliers. He also works very closely from the outset of projects with our design and quantity surveyor teams to ensure the achievement of completed quality homes across all of our locations.

Srecko Urlich

Northcote Salesperson

022 2007 622

Srecko brings a wealth of sales expertise to Universal Homes, with over 25 years of experience in the new home construction and property development industry. His career path spans across all levels in the industry, from first home buyers through to the discretionary market.

Ling Su

Northcote Salesperson

021 599 627

Relaxed and friendly, Ling brings with her the advantage of an extensive successful background in the real estate industry and knows the importance of communication with clients at all stages. She is adept at helping home buyers through our simple purchase process step-by-step. 

Shelley Clark

West Hills Salesperson

021 896 987

Shelley has worked for Universal Homes for over six years and brings an extensive background of sales and marketing experience over a range of industries. With her highly talented approach and professional personality, home buyers at West Hills can expect to be well looked after across every detail of their purchase.  

Adrienne Hansen

West Hills Salesperson

021 742 042

Adrienne has over 25 years’ experience in the residential building industry and has a wealth of sales knowledge. Having a builder for a husband, Adrienne understands the building process and knows how to transform a house into a home. 

Marcel van Drongelen

Marketing Manager

As Head of Sales and Marketing at Universal Homes, Marcel joined Universal with over 15 years’ experience in brand and marketing strategy for property developments. With a background in innovative campaign execution with globally recognised brands, Marcel loves to focus on creating cohesive and consistent brand experiences to support home buyers and investors of all stages.

Chris Maday

Development Manager

Chris has over 30 years of knowledge and experience in the land development sector in Auckland both as a client and consultant. He brings a unique perspective to the housing market that enables him to provide advice and project management expertise, to produce quality developments at a range of locations for Universal Homes. 

Tony Putter

Health & Safety Advisor

Tony joined Universal Homes after working as a Health & Safety Specialist in a range of diverse industries for more than a decade. During this time Tony managed the health and safety of major construction projects and reviewed and implemented a number of health and safety systems. He has a strong background in advance investigation, adult education, public safety, and occupational health and safety. 

Jason Lo

Development Manager

Coming from an operations management background in forestry and land surveying, Jason brings a wealth of knowledge on contractor and financial management which is instrumental to the success of his work at the master-planned West Hills location. Jason has over five years of experience working as the Land Development Project Manager for the West Hills project before this new role. 

Avi Estrin

Development Manager

Avi has 10 years of experience in the construction and property industry, working on large mixed-use developments in London and residential developments in Auckland. Avi started his career as a civil engineer with Harrison Grierson, before transitioning into project management with Gardiner and Theobald in London, and Universal Homes. He enjoys the mix of technical details and big-picture thinking required in property development. 

Dorothy Ju

Operations & Compliance Director

With an accounting degree and project and programme management background, Dorothy has extensive experience as a Finance Manager in property development for the past six years. She has a strong background in internal financial control and risk management. Dorothy has worked across a variety of sectors, including luxury property, hotels, and commercial offices.

Chris Law

Development Manager

With over 15 years experience in the property industry, Chris has a strong background in engineering, civil, and land development construction. He has worked at Universal Homes for the past few years in the new estates team as a Development Manager, across a range of locations including Universal Homes’ development at Northcote.

Elmer Hermo

Lead Team Architect – West Hills

Elmer has 29 years’ experience working in the architectural sector, both in New Zealand and overseas. His expertise spans design and architectural work across a range of locations and varying urban contexts. He has worked at Universal Homes since 2011 at several residential locations including Millwater, Hobsonville Point, Karaka, Pokeno, and West Hills.

Hiren Kedia

Architectural Team Leader

With over 15 years’ experience in the residential architecture sector in New Zealand and prior experience in India, Hiren holds a Masters degree in architecture. He has worked at Universal Homes for eight years, across a wide range of residential locations including Hobsonville Point, Millwater, Milldale,  Pokeno, Chatham Hill, and West Hills. 

Gail Blair

Consents Administrator

Gail has over 15 years’ experience in the residential building consent process, including consent lodgments, and issuing of consents. She brings a passionate, enthusiastic, and effervescent approach to Universal Homes. Her infectious energy coupled with her specialist knowledge is an asset to the team. Gail has worked at Universal Homes for over seven years across a wide range of residential locations, including Pokeno, Long Bay, Milldale, West Hills, and Northcote.

Akmal Akmaloni

Information Systems Manager

Akmal has over 10 years of consulting experience in information systems and business intelligence. As the IS Manager at Universal Homes, he has been instrumental in the implementation and management of Universal’s integrated finance and operation systems. Akmal has also introduced the business management systems used to coordinate land development, house construction, customer service, and financial processes.

Rob Dyson

Maintenance Officer

Rob brings more than 30 years of expertise in the residential construction sector to his role at Universal Homes. His extensive industry knowledge spans drafting, building, and building control, making him a valuable asset to Universal’s construction team. With his wealth of experience, Rob is well equipped to guide clients through warranty or any product quality enquiries, ensuring they receive expert support each step of the way.

Linda Wade


As the warm and friendly first point of call when you contact the Universal Homes head office, Linda has been with Universal for almost two decades in the Receptionist/Secretary role. While her scope of work has changed significantly over the years, she is the knowledgeable coordinator of enquiries and is also involved with sales contracts. Additionally, Linda assists the accounts department and undertakes numerous other responsibilities running the head office.

Vallen Dai

Team Leader Senior QS

A Quantity Surveyor with over a decade of experience in the construction industry and a background in New Zealand residential firms before joining Universal Homes, Vallen brings a wealth of knowledge to the team. He holds a post-graduate diploma in Quantity Surveying and a master’s degree in Intelligent Buildings. Vallen is also a registered Quantity Surveyor with NZIQS. He enjoys the process of ensuring that clients receive exceptional value for their new home.

Kara Merryweather

Sales Administration Officer

With over eight years’ experience in the construction industry, Kara applies a breadth of experience to her role as Sales Administrator for Universal Homes. Kara has a background in office administration and project administration. She brings her organisational acumen to her work throughout the contract process for clients. Kara holds a Certificate in Accounts Payable and Receivable, and is studying towards a Diploma in Business Administration.

Jason Wech

Senior Project Manager

With over 13 years of experience in the building industry, Jason joined Universal Homes in 2017 as site foreman and quickly worked his way up the ladder to become a senior project manager. He currently manages the large-scale West Hills master planned development. Jason has worked in site management since 2012, and is a Registered Licensed Building Practitioner.

Hester Li

Senior Quantity Surveyor

With a background in quantity surveying, Hester joined the Universal Homes QS team in 2020. She currently manages the large-scale master planned development project at West Hills. Hester’s work primarily focusses on assessing the feasibility of house construction costs, as well as monitoring and reporting for ongoing projects.


Shane Currie

Senior Project Manager

Shane has worked in the construction industry for well over 20 years and has been a key part of the Universal Homes team for 10 years. He is a qualified carpenter, with a depth of industry knowledge that he brings to the team at Universal. As a Senior Project Manager, he oversees a range of projects across all stages of the construction process.

Joanne Baxter

Maintenance Administrator

As the Maintenance Administrator at Universal Homes for the past six years, Jo brings over 30 years of customer service and quality control expertise to this role. She loves assisting new Universal homeowners with their queries or any rare maintenance-related matters they may want to discuss regarding their homes. She also collaborates with our experienced and meticulous contractors, providing a unique wraparound aftercare service.

Leon Yu

Cost & Compliance Manager

With over 15 years of experience in the construction and property development industry, Leon brings this knowledge to his role as Cost and Compliance Manager for Universal Homes. He has expertise in the cost and compliance sector in New Zealand for hotels, hospitals, education facilities, residential, apartments, retail spaces, offices, and warehouses.

Mandy Hattam

Customer Administration Officer

Mandy is the Customer Administration Officer at Universal Homes, with a focus on looking after our valued clients throughout the home buying process. Mandy provides regular construction updates for clients and is always ready to answer questions and provide guidance particularly for first home buyers. She has worked for Universal Homes for over seven years, with clients in Hobsonville, West Hills, Northcote, Pokeno, Karaka, Long Bay, Milldale, Millwater, and Chatham Hill.

Michelle Liddell

Assistant Accountant

Michelle has worked as an accountant at Universal Homes for the past nine years, working alongside the rest of the finance team. She has a strong background in finance across a range of industries, and a National Certificate of Business in Accounting. She has almost completed a Bachelor of Accountancy.

Edward Pineada

Quantity Surveyor

Edward has a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering and over 20 years of experience in the construction industry, both in New Zealand and overseas. He has worked at Universal Homes for the past eight years across a wide range of residential locations including Hobsonville Point, The Rise in Papakura, Belmont Park Estate in Pukekohe, Karaka Waters, Pokeno, Clayburn Road in West Auckland, and other sites with Universal Homes.

Tegan Smythe

Junior Development Manager

Tegan has four years of experience in the construction and property industry and holds a degree in Property. She started her career in the leasing industry, then transitioned into Development Management with the new estates team at Universal Homes. She enjoys the variety the role brings, covering land acquisition, civil project management, and managing time, quality, and cost for projects.

Jordan Smith

Project Manager

With over 11 years of construction knowledge, Jordan brings his expertise as a qualified builder and a fully Licensed Building Practitioner to his role as a Project Manager at Universal Homes. He has worked for Universal Homes since 2021. Jordan is passionate about property investment and development. He brings this breadth of experience to the management of medium-density and apartment projects in Hobsonville Point, West Hills, and Northcote.

Shi Jia Ho

Quantity Surveyor

Shi joined the Universal quantity surveyor team in 2022, with over four years of quantity surveyor experience in New Zealand. Shi has been involved in both residential and smaller-scale commercial projects as a quantity surveyor and has experience in both the carpentry and concrete trade sectors. Her work includes material quantities and associated costs and project timelines, across a range of locations for Universal Homes.

Nicole Guiney

Payroll Administrator

Nicole has worked for Universal Homes for the past seven years. She brings close attention to detail to her work, which encompasses accounts administration, payroll, and Human Resources. With her numbers-focused expertise, she is adept at keeping track of the volume of transactions she processes for Universal Homes. Nicole is currently studying towards a Diploma in Accounting.

Geoff Cropp

Project Manager

With over 25 years of experience in the building industry, Geoff brings his knowledge as a residential projects builder, from renovations to high-end new builds, to his work at Universal Homes. As Project Manager he works on terrace homes and apartments across a range of locations. Geoff has a NZ Diploma in Building Surveying, certification in NZ workplace health and safety, and over five years of experience as a council building inspector. 

Chris Yeum

Quantity Surveyor

Chris has over six years of knowledge and experience in the commercial and residential construction industry in Auckland, as a main contractor quantity surveyor. He brings this expertise to the QS team at Universal Homes. As a quantity surveyor, Chris primarily manages financial procurement for the large-scale master-planned West Hills construction project, along with pricing for new Universal projects, feasibility studies, and the related administrative aspects.

Wayne Pellet

Team Leader Design / Build Projects

As Architectural Design Lead at Universal Homes, Wayne works with a range of contracted consultant teams. He ensures Universal’s design requirements are delivered and documentation is realised for our build team to construct new homes on budget and to timeframe. With a NZ Architectural Certificate in Drafting and a Bachelor of Architecture, Wayne has a strong interest in model-based documentation to communicate design and achieve documentation accuracy.

Tania Vela

Marketing and Communications

Tania is an integral member of the Universal Homes team, managing a myriad of roles within the organisation. She has worked in the Sales and Marketing team since 2017. With a wealth of knowledge spanning roles in the residential construction industry as well as personnel and B2B publishing, her previous background also encompasses events management. She managed the Deloitte/Management magazine Awards, as well as the annual AdMedia magazine Agency of the Year Awards for eight years.

Maree Horan

Construction and H&S Administrator

As the Construction Administrator, Maree is responsible for obtaining all Code Compliance Certificates across each of our development locations. Maree is highly organised and works in conjunction with the Health and Safety Advisor to ensure Universal continues to meet high standards when it comes to health and safety. She joined the Universal team in 2021. Maree holds a Bachelor of Commerce with a background in construction and consulting engineering.

Leo Xu

Operations Manager

Leo has over seven years of development, operations, and compliance experience at Universal Homes, and holds a Bachelor in Property and Commerce Conjoint Degree. He brings a meticulous and thorough approach to his role, whether for setting KPIs, performance reviews, internal control, or project feasibility reviews. He has an in-depth background working in the real estate industry in China.

Paul Kueh

Quantity Surveyor

With a strong background in construction, Paul has worked at Universal Homes for the past few years in the QS team. His focus includes forecasting construction costs, material quantities and associated costs, and project timelines with the rest of the team. He has worked across a range of projects including Universal Homes’ large-scale developments at West Hills, Hobsonville Point, and Northcote.

Vicky Luo

Research & Development Officer

Vicky holds an MBA in Finance and Economics and has over 20 years of experience in multiple facets of the investment market. Vicky brings her planning skills to the Land Development Team at Universal Homes. She is an integral part of the team, utilising her research and analytical skills across a range of projects at a variety of locations for Universal Homes.

Nicholas Ogg

Project Manager

Nicholas joined the Universal Homes team in 2021, bringing to the role years of knowledge and a breadth of experience in the construction industry. His role as Project Manager encompasses overseeing the construction of new homes across all stages of the construction process, from early planning stages through to build completion. He currently project manages the Milldale development in North Auckland for Universal Homes.

Mortaza Atai

Site Manager

Mortaza is one of the Site Managers for Universal Homes, working on large-scale projects at our popular locations. With a decade of experience in construction, he is a qualified builder and a Licensed Building Practitioner. Mortaza works across a range of Universal’s sites, bringing his decision-making abilities and knowledge of building methods and regulations to each of the projects he works on, and is never without a smile.

Join Our Team

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