Who we are

Our mission is to be the link between good food and good business so that your restaurant or cafe can find greatness.

The Restaurant Association of New Zealand (Te Tao Roa) had humble beginnings. Back in 1972 it was known as the Restaurant and Cabaret Association and had a membership of 20 with a part-time secretariat. Nowadays, we have members covering the length and breadth of the country and we represent every facet of the restaurant and hospitality industry.

The meaning behind Te Tao Roa

Te Tao Roa is a reference to a saying used in Māori that refers to feasts and great dining.

There was a time when all the cooking was done outside the whare nui in long, deep and open fires (umu). Because these fires were so hot, food was typically placed on spears (tao) so it could be cooked without burning the hands of the cooks. The longer the spear, the more a particular marae could feed, the more people that could be fed, the more mana the cooks had. A way of thanking cooks now is to refer to them as tao roa, or long spears. Referring to them in this way suggests they are of great status and prestige.

These words were chosen for the The Restaurant Association of New Zealand, because the Association caters to hospitality around the country, that is, its spear is quite ‘long’. For that reason, tao roa seems quite fitting as a Māori name with dual meanings.

The Association is organised into 12 regional branches and a national office housed in a building in Mt Eden owned by the Restaurant Association Education Trust and run by a full-time staff. You can find out more about our team here.

Our management structure also includes the following representatives:

Marisa Bidois, Chief Executive

Mike Egan, National President –  Monsoon Poon, Boulcott Street Bistro, Burger Liquor

Steve Logan, National Vice President – Logan Brown Restaurant, Liberty, and Logan Brown at Bellamy’s,  Wellington

Krishna Botica National Vice President – Cafe Hanoi, Ghost Street, Auckland

Regional Branches and Branch Presidents

Restaurant Association Education Trust

The Education Trust was established in 1993 with the single purpose of providing training and education to the hospitality industry. The Trust supports a commitment to furthering education and career advancements for hospitality workers.

In 2002 the Trust purchased a commercial building in Normanby Road, Auckland, which now houses the Restaurant Association’s head office and taste, a multi-purpose facility that provides a focal point for the hospitality industry and hosts professional development classes, masterclasses and industry functions.

The Trust is also behind the Restaurant Association’s Hospo Start programme, which provides an introduction to working in the hospitality industry.

Current Trustees: Tony Adcock – Chairman, David Meagher, Merv Ah Chee, Warren Bias, Alistair Rowe, Mike Egan, Jenny Jenkins


taste. is a function room with a difference. Based in the middle of Mt Eden and available for hire, it boasts a fully equipped demonstration kitchen, full AV equipment, back of house area and a dedicated on site manager.

If you are looking for the perfect venue to hold seminars for up to 45 people, to launch new products, trying out new menus or staff, host corporate dinners up to 30 people, networking functions for up to 110 people and much more, then look no further. Managed by the Restaurant Association, this is a fully licensed venue that offers you a fantastic, intimate experience. Whether you want to dry hire the venue, or hand over all the details to our taste. Manager the choice is yours.

Restaurant Association members receive added benefits with taste., including discounted room hire rates.

taste booking contact:  Sirpa Gunn  |  Sirpa@restaurantnz.co.nz  |  09 632 1408