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“Phillipa is a testament to the contribution and success of women in engineering and is an inspiration to young women engineers at Downer.” – Peter Mortimer, referee.


Considered by the ENVIs judges to be a true industry leader and strategist, Phillipa has contributed to her firm and the whole roading industry for years. She is a great environmental champion and is passionate about the sustainability of New Zealand’s roading infrastructure, a passion she brings to her mahi every day.  

Phillipa has demonstrated a remarkable ability to help enact change and influence behaviour through her relentless advocacy for ‘doing better’ for future generations by working sustainable practices into her role, pioneering environmental changes into project that would otherwise not occur. She has been an important influence in inspiring leaders in both Downer and the wider roading community to take action on reducing the environmental impact of projects and promote carbon friendly changes. Phillipa has presented to many groups throughout NZ and Australia, and has also presented to the Asia and Pacific Transport Forum in 2022 promoting the innovative work that is being done in NZ. Her work has been recognised with the 2016 RIMS Award for Innovation and the 2018 RIMS Award for Innovation. Phillipa is a mentor to many people in her company and has always looked for ways to help others to grow professionally and understand the importance of the environment. 

Phillipa worked with National Asset Management Lead Peter Mortimer to develop a process that uses a Field Inspection Tool to allow Downer’s Asset Engineers to develop and manage Forward Works Programmes and make data driven decisions for our roading networks. Phillipa’s development of the pavement families was well-received at the RIMS Conference in 2018 and she was invited to join the RIMS Committee in 2019 as a result. 

Phillipa had always been passionate about sustainability, but it wasn’t until 2015 that she got the opportunity to take her passion to the next level. As a participant of the Downer Inspiring Leaders Programme, she wrote a paper on ‘road maintenance carbon footprints’ and was determined to find ways to calculate the carbon footprint of Downer’s contracts. Phillipa began to host knowledge sharing sessions within Downer, which prompted discussions about sustainability among staff. This led to the sharing of innovation between contracts, which in turn resulted in a reduction of carbon emissions. This became a forum where colleagues were encouraged to present their ‘eco’ ideas. Phillipa began identifying these people, mentoring them, and asking them to speak to the RIMS conference about their innovations. 

In 2022, Phillipa was invited to join the carbon calculation task team for Waka Kotahi. She shared her calculation sheets, compared figures and methods of carbon reporting with other members. This led to a standardisation being created, providing Phillipa and the team with results for Waka Kotahi’s model and for further use within Downer and the wider road maintenance community providing a more sustainable model for contracts. 

Phillipa also contributes her time to the Manawatu Area Pony Clubs where she is the treasurer and helps fundraise, and is actively involved with the design of cross-country courses for the Equestrian Sports New Zealand (ESNZ). 

Phillipa is a passionate environmental campaigner at work and at home and is committed to protecting the environment and promoting sustainability. She is particularly passionate about protecting natural habitats, preserving biodiversity and reducing waste. 


Jamie Roverts
Matthew Loach
Fulton Hogan
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