The Team


Chief Executive Officer

Don Sandbrook is a highly successful New Zealand 'serial' entrepreneur, and Monkeyroom’s CEO.

Seventeen years ago Don developed an electronically controlled seed metering system that revolutionized the commercial horticultural market internationally - the 'Seed Spider'. Now, he estimates two-thirds of the salad mix grown in North America alone goes through one of his seed metering systems.

As the founder of Spidertracks, Don applied the same innovation and technical knowledge to the global aviation tracking market. What he developed was the world's first portable Iridium tracking device designed primarily for aviation. A private helicopter pilot, Don saw the need for a satellite-based flight tracking system that overcame the gaps in systems using GSM mobile phone networks.

Today, Spidertracks are sold in over 30 countries, and Don has successfully negotiated strategic business relationships with such multinationals as Cessna, Artex and Iridium.

With both Spidertracks and Seed Spider firmly established in their markets, Don stepped away to explore new ventures, and formed the research and development hub – Monkeyroom, where his focus is to apply his passion, knowledge, and devotion to innovation, entrepreneurship and business excellence.

Watching a parking warden chalking tyres in the rain, Don saw an opportunity to develop a technological solution to bring parking into the 21st century, and formed Frogparking to develop and market the technology.


Graphic Design Master

With a Bachelor of Computer Graphic Design, Jono has a brilliant artistic flair and a passion for graphic design. A spontaneous and creative thinker, Jono specializes in website design, 3D content creation, photography, branding and product design.

Since working at Monkeyroom Jono has furthered his skill set by getting involved in plastics design.

Jono is a great fit for the fast-paced environment at Monkeyroom, he has the ability to take any challenge thrown at him and create a masterpiece.

Jono brings laughter in the door with him every morning (we haven’t yet figured out what he is on!), he’s an epic snowboarder and likes to regularly prank the boss. Jono has recently formed his own I.T company , where he hires people from all over the world to work for him. Check out the amazing treehouse Jono built at


Production Manager

Zen (aka Zenith) is our Production Manager. With a Bachelor of Business Studies from Massey University, and sound global business knowledge, Zen works with our team to develop supplier relationships and ensure that our production schedules are well planned and implemented.

Zen has experience working within a range of industries both in New Zealand and overseas. He brings to our team a high level of professionalism and enthusiasm.

Zen enjoys the creative, fast-paced atmosphere at Monkeyroom, and appreciates the thrill of being involved in turning leading-edge technologies into exciting businesses. Outside of work, Zen enjoys traveling, building robots, and doing wheelies on his little red scooter.


Administration Manager

Irene (aka Benny Boo Boo) is our Administration Manager. She has stacks of experience in administration and accounts.

Irene is the person within Monkeyroom that holds the place together. She is a competent, professional, adaptable and versatile member of our team. She is continually faced with new and diverse challenges, and she strives to deliver a high level of value to help keep Monkeyroom thriving, competitive and profitable.

Irene is a bright chick, with loads of enthusiasm and talent - she is also Shareena's 'right-hand-man' and is getting more involved with the sales and marketing side of the business.

Irene and her husband have a bright business future ahead of them. When not at work, Irene is a keen gardener, she has an extremely tough cat named Grover, and she wows us with her great hair days!


Software Dev Manager

James is our software guy. He has a First Class Honours degree in Engineering from Massey University specializing in Information and Telecommunications. He has worked on a range of different software projects for a number of organizations. Most recently he worked on two large successful start-up projects as the first developer on the team (ActionThis and Spidertracks).

James has a keen passion for technology and is constantly looking into new and exciting fields where his skills can be applied.

In his spare time, James likes to get to the gym, ride his dirtbike, and code up other experimental applications.


Hardware Dev Manager

Kahu (aka Cheeky Darky) is our lead Hardware Engineer. With a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) majoring in Mechatronics, Kahu is a highly skilled and intelligent, forward thinker. Kahu has been working with Don for a number of years, on all sorts of crazy, highly technological, world first concepts. Kahu has been involved in successfully building the worlds first portable satellite tracking system for aviation, and has built a number of other hardware devices for various applications. Kahu has a particular interest in wireless technology, robotics, microprocessors, and embedded system design.

Kahu is always keeping up to date with the latest and greatest in hardware systems and componentry, and he's always thinking of ways these can be applied to what Monkeyroom is doing.

In his spare time, Kahu likes to build rockets (he doesn't mind if they never come back), and he is a talented musician.


Software Engineer

Norman has a Bachelor of Computer Science and Information Systems from Massey University.

Norman has specific skills in database development, windows and web forms, and C programming. He is currently working with our software development team on a number of exciting projects.

Norman is father to two gorgeous girls, and has a beautiful wife. He moved to New Zealand from Argentina about 20 years ago to work as a dairy farmer, however he found software development to be his true calling!

Norman claims that he doesn’t work out, but he is suspiciously ‘buff’! He is a keen football fan, and loves spending time with his girls.


Hardware Engineer

Grant is one of our Hardware Engineers. With a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Mechatronics from Massey University, Grant brings fresh ideas and enthusiasm to our team.

Grant has specific interests in embedded software and hardware, and computer electronics. While completing his University studies, he was involved in a project involving the design and fabrication of a prototype robot for a market application.

Grant enjoys applying his knowledge and creativity to the various projects he is involved with at Monkeyroom.

In his spare time, Grant loves sleeping in, water sports, and playing guitar.


Workshop Assistant

Ewen (aka Uncle) is our Workshop Assistant. He keeps things in order and ensures that the workshop is running smoothly, he also doubles as an all around nice guy.

Ewen has a diverse background - he worked his butt off from a contract milker to owning his own dairy farm, then he moved on to farming asparagus while selling AI products. His next move will be to chill out on an avocado orchard up North (or in Pohangina).

On the weekends, Ewen enjoys taking his horse out on cowboy missions, and stretching on his tight lycra to head off for a bike ride. Ewen has also been found guilty of committing the unforgivable fashion crime - SNEANS!!!!


Marketing Manager

Shareena is our Marketing Manager and Director. She has a Bachelor of Business Studies in Marketing from Massey University, A Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies, and an Executive MBA from Waikato University.

Shareena has business experience in a wide range of industries, including investment banking, HR, retail finance, patents/intellectual property, and aviation.

Shareena has an extremely strong customer focus, shaped around building sustainable long-term relationships, and effectively communicating in a way that shapes the competitive advantage of the company.

Shareena has a warm, infectious personality. She is a successful business owner in her own right, and is mother to two beautiful little girls.


Design Engineer

With a Bachelor of Technology and a Masters in Engineering, Mike (aka Blondie) has extensive experience in managing and production planning and plays a key role in general research and development for both Monkeyroom and Seed Spider.

Mike has a keen interest in industrial automation and embedded software, and is a highly knowledgeable member of our team.

Before coming to us, Mike was involved in designing fire engines, and spent time overseas traveling the world (mostly drinking!).

In his spare time Mike is a legendary house renovator, tractor driver and milling expert. He also enjoys touring the country on his motorbike.


Software Engineer

Lucia is a Software Engineer for Monkeyroom, she has Bachelor of Engineering at Massey University (Hons).

Lucia is involved with high-level software design and programming, web and user interface design. Lucia's skills also extend to microcontroller programming, PCB design, and FPGA programming - which makes her a great asset to Monkeyroom.

Lucia originates from Slovakia (so we love to listen to her beautiful accent!), she has a friendly and loyal personality, and is a bubbly member of our team.

In her spare time, Lucia likes running, painting and she wows us with her amazing noodle creations!


Workshop Technician

Glenn is our Workshop Technician, managing the fabrication and assembly in the workshop.

Glenn is trade qualified in heavy fabrication, with particular skills in stainless steel fabrication. Glenn is responsible for ensuring that all product that leaves the workshop is built to an extremely high standard.

He is very ambitious and has plans to further establish his own business manufacturing stainless steel furniture, and creating other stainless steel masterpieces.

Glenn originates from Southland, so most of the time we don't know what exactly he's saying.

When he's not at work, Glenn likes to get down and dirty in his 4 x 4 machine, and dress up like Rambo to head for the hills to do some hunting.