Eugene was raised in Rotorua by his koroua and kuia. He studied at Waikato University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Management Studies. He has worked locally and globally in multinational corporate sales, marketing and market research roles. His family returned to Rotorua in 2003, where he has worked in the health and iwi environmental and social service sectors. He is currently employed as the Director Te Mana o Te Wai and Implementation Partnerships at the Ministry for the Environment. Eugene is also involved in several board roles including Deputy-Chairperson Te Rau Ora, Chairperson for Korowai Aroha Health Centre, Deputy Chairperson for the Te Arawa Whānau Ora, and Co-Chair of the PHARMAC Maori Advisory Committee.