Dirt Navy

Meet the NLC Team


Managing Director - Ryan Ruthe

Finishing school on a Friday, by the Monday was learning the ropes on a D7 dozer & scoop working on a large-scale bulk earthworks project in South Auckland. Ryan has spent the last decade or so learning nothing but the art of Earthworks & Civil Construction. Working and learning in the seats of machines & by the soles of his boots, alongside some of the industry's greats. This has taught him to extremely value the blue collars of life and completely cemented his ideas on the value of hard, hands-on work to achieve great things in all aspects of life.

Ryan worked his way up through established companies over the years, starting as a labourer, and working his way up through the machine operator, foreman & manager roles. He has worked in various fields from Bulk Earthmoving & Subdivisions, Large-scale Commercial developments, Drainage, Cleanfill & Landfill Construction, Roading & Surfacing. This knowledge has given Ryan a very layered knowledge of the industry as both once a laborer & now a contractor/business owner himself. 

Ryan now brings that wealth of experience to Next Level Civil for the benefit of his team and our clients. He's passionate about getting the next generation into the industry & teaching the art of constructing the infrastructure for the current & future population of New Zealand.

He is a member of the Civil Contractors NZ Auckland Branch Committee & is involved in the Young Contractors, Training & SME sub-committees as a way to improve & give back to the industry that has given him the chance to succeed. He is also undertaking the Recognized Current Competency pathway to achieving his New Zealand Infrastructure Works Certificate (Level 4 & 5)

In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his partner & young daughter, playing the odd game of golf & exploring beautiful New Zealand.  

Contact Ryan here: 

   +64 21 029 22216


Quantity Surveyor - Joe Smith

Joe joined the team in Jan 2021 as a Civil Tradesman out in the field, after a few years working for one of NZ's largest & multi-disciplined civil construction companies. Joe holds field experience in many elements of the Civil Construction & Earthworks sectors including bulk earthworks, civil drainage, road construction, subdivisional developments, utilities, water reticulation & erosion & sediment control.

Very quickly his great work ethic, eye for detail & experience in the field had him progress into running the meters on the ground, leading crews & becoming a high-value member of the team. 

Being great with numbers, in late 2023 we spotted an opportunity to promote Joe into a Quantity Surveying role. Someone who not only knows their numbers but knows how projects play out and how things go out in the real world is invaluable and Joe has exceeded all expectations moving into this role. He manages our design & scope, estimation, take-off, tendering, procurement & claims. Joe works closely with Ryan to manage project costings, scheduling & resource management and is a lynch pin to ensuring our projects & business remain on track.


Contact Joe here: 

   +64 21 772 373


Accounts & Ops Admin - Careen Vandeven

Careen was new to the industry when she joined the team in early 2022 to assist the office & operations team manage projects, plant & people. Being the friendly, hard-working person she is, she has since taken onboard accounts & manages a lot of the day to day administrational side of the business.

Careen manages our accounts payable & receivable, company software, plant & asset repairs & maintenance, Health & Safety documentation along with compliance & accreditations. 

She's also the friendly face you'll first see when you visit our office in Alfriston, Auckland. 


Contact Careen here: 

   +64 27 2237605



Machine Operator - Mark Tupaea

Mark joined the NLC team in late 2022 as a machine operator and he's particularly handy on the excavator. 

Marks career spans 30 years across the civil construction industry in and out of machines, trucks and putting meters on the ground. He's also very loyal and has worked for all his employers within the industry for at least a decade before moving on to greener pastures. 

He's a very conscientious operator and likes getting the job done right the first time, he's not afraid to get stuck in and has cemented his place as a valued member of the team, you never know you may just be lucky enough to have him as the lead operator on one of your projects!

Machine Operator - Jay Barrett

Jay joined the NLC team in late 2022 as a tipper truck driver. He was new to the civil industry at the time and has really settled in as one of the family since. 

In his tenure with us Jay has upskilled out of the tipper truck and into a machine operator role and is now rather handy on machines of all shapes & sizes, particularly with a knack on the Skidsteer's (Bobcats as they're commonly referred to).  

He's a keen young lad who's not afraid to get out of the machine and get his hands dirty & is often out laying asphalt or doing the hard yards with the team. He looks after the equipment to a high standard and is valued for his mechanical background. 

We're looking forward to Jay progressing through the company & the future to come with him on our team 

Civil Tradesman - Logan Townsend

Logan joined the NLC team in early 2024 after spending a good part of a decade in the construction industry. 

Logan has experience in building, landscape construction & spent most of his career as a leading hand for a very reputable pool installation company. 

He's joined our team as a Civil Tradesman and his attention to detail and ability to work & calculate to the millimeter has become very valued within our business. He's part of the crew that handles the nitty gritty of our civil construction projects and his building skills are second to none when working off plans, to heights and finer details within the set of plans. You'll often find Logan working on our high-end and high-finish projects where he can produce high quality work to accurate tolerances. 

He is working his way up getting more time in the seat of machines and taking his knowledge on the ground to become a force to be reckoned with behind the controls so watch this space!



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Plant & Equipment List


see what you'll need to get the job done here:

Wheels, Tracks & Rollers