Our Team

The Hunger Project NZ is a small but passionate team, governed by a Board of Trustees and supported by a motivated group of volunteers. Our role in Aotearoa is to raise funds and awareness for our global mission.

Lisa Gunnery, Country Director & Board Trustee

Lisa joined The Hunger Project in 2013 after taking part in one of our corporate leadership immersion programmes. Witnessing first hand the work of The Hunger Project and the work of our village partners in India caused a transformation in how Lisa viewed capacity, capability and possibility. This experience led to a career change and a commitment to playing a part in the end of global hunger and in ensuring that other people were able to have similar opportunities for transformation.

The concept of a not for profit working to achieve self-reliance and create the sustainable and permanent solution to hunger was the draw card for her to become a member of our team.  Being able to share the lessons that she has learned through her work with The Hunger Project and seeing other people have similar transformations is an added bonus. 

Lisa became the CEO of The Hunger Project NZ from November 2015 - October 2017, a Board Trustee, and took up the Country Director role in November 2019. 

Prior to The Hunger Project, Lisa had a long corporate career within the insurance industry both in New Zealand and internationally. 


Connect with Lisa


 Global hunger and poverty does not operate separately from our country or our own issues - it operates alongside. You can have a foot in both camps. You can want Aotearoa to thrive while also recognising the importance of addressing global issues at the same time. 

Lisa Gunnery, Country Director, The Hunger Project NZ


Board of Trustees.

Robert Banks

Robert is a consulting engineer working for a large Asia Pacific consulting practice. Prior to studying engineering, he was brought up on a sheep and beef farm. He has two adult children, a daughter who lives with her family in Auckland and a son who lives with his family in Sydney.

Robert has been an investor for 30 years and served as Chair of The Hunger Project NZ before stepping down in 2018 but remaining on the Board as a Trustee. He was attracted to The Hunger Project principles of empowerment, self-reliance and personal responsibility. He has travelled on an Investor’s trip to India in 1996, and to a number of the annual Gala Ceremonies in New York.

As an investor he sees that his relationship with hungry people is one of connectedness and partnership with fellow global citizens who have the ability to end their own hunger; and as an investor he shares in their accomplishments. He finds that the principles of The Hunger Project also apply to his work and life which give a similar sense of accomplishment.

Nomita Singh

Nomita has been involved with The Hunger Project NZ for 15 years and been on the Board for a large part of this time. She is a trained Information & Communication Technology teacher and provider who has worked both in India and New Zealand, and has led a Ministry of Education initiative training teachers in the meaningful use of ICT to enhance learning.

She has been a volunteer at her children's schools and Cornwall Cricket Club and owned and managed an iconic waterfront restaurant in Auckland for almost 10 years. Nomita is now involved in the childcare business, property developments in Auckland & Christchurch and plays a pivotal role within the family business.

In 2016, she was a participant on The Hunger Project’s Leaders Program to Uganda where she took leadership lessons and was inspired by The Hunger Project's work.

Susan Parkes 

Susan's first exposure to The Hunger Project was a leadership trip to India in 2017 where she was inspired by the vast and sustainable impact of the organisation's work. In 2024 Susan joined the Board of The Hunger Project NZ and currently leads the fundraising committee. 

Susan has worked across both public and private sectors, always in roles that follow her passion for delivering excellent customer outcomes. 

At AIA NZ, Susan is currently building customer focused capabilities across teams so that they might take an innovative approach to technical delivery. 

At Auckland Transport, Susan set up the Human Centred Design Innovation Lab and subsequently was instrumental in introducing new adaptive ways of working on customer problems. Together these culture and capability changes resulted in customer outcomes exceeding $39m. 

Susan's core purpose is creating great experiences for those who are around her. She does this by bringing creativity and optimism to the table, and by inspiring bravery required to "end sameness". 


   Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.  

Margaret Mead, American cultural anthropologist (1901-1978)



Shirley Hardwick

Shirley first became an investor in 1989 and was involved in contacting schools to have them use a video in their geography programmes, which explained the difference between famine and chronic persistent hunger, and showing that the latter could be ended. She has been on a study trip to Benin in West Africa, and saw what life altering effect The Hunger Project has on the life of rural people, particularly women.

She became the Country Coordinator for The Hunger Project NZ, until handing over the leadership to Karen Johns in 2006 and has continued to support The Hunger Project NZ as a significant Ambassador.

Karen Johns

Karen currently holds the position of Specialist Adviser at the Auckland Council. She grew up in Taranaki, studied at Auckland University and graduated with a degree in Anthropology and Geography.  She has worked for thirty years in community development – with roles in the community sector as well as in central and local government.

Karen has held voluntary positions in the Hunger Project NZ since 2003 – as the voluntary administrator, Country Director and Chair. She is a committed and honoured Ambassador and continues to support the work of The Hunger Project NZ in whatever way she can.

Roslyn Hiini

Ros became involved with The Hunger Project NZ after participating in a life changing series of seminars with a company called Landmark Education. Through this education she met Shirley Hardwick who was then Country Director of The Hunger Project NZ, who introduced her to The Hunger Project and the idea that people can end their own hunger and forge their own futures in a sustainable way. 

She feels that it is a privilege to be involved with the work of The Hunger Project and to see the strength of people rising above caste and class and becoming leaders in a world not always accepting of this transformation.