Hospitality Recovery Taskforce

COVID-19 has shaken up the world as we know it, causing uncertainty and distress for many. However, our hospitality industry is full of resilient and entrepreneurial people, able to see that amongst the challenges are true opportunities.

This COVID-19 crisis gives us the opportunity to rebuild and reshape the hospitality industry, making it stronger than ever.

Introducing the Hospitality Recovery Taskforce

The Restaurant Association has brought together a diverse group of people with expertise from all facets of the hospitality sector to provide leadership and guidance to the hospitality community throughout the COVID-19 recovery period. This is the Hospitality Recovery Taskforce.

Meeting once per month, the taskforce will collaborate and help to guide the direction and decision making of the Restaurant Association, driving projects and lobbying over the recovery period.

“Opportunity is everywhere. The key is to develop the vision to see it.”


Meet the Members

Marisa Bidois

Appointed as the Chief Executive of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand in 2011, Marisa Bidois’s (Ngāti Ranginui) leadership has seen the Association grow and develop into an organisation that is agile to respond to industry needs and trends as they happen, yet impactful enough to enact meaningful change. As well as advocating for members, much of Marisa’s time is spent growing interest and opportunity in the industry and raising the industry’s profile. She has extensive experience co-designing and advising Government agencies and has worked in an advisory capacity with a number of different Government departments including MPI, Immigration NZ, IRD and others. Marisa has also led collaboration with the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) to create the Restaurant Association’s HospoStart programme. Earlier this year she was appointed to the Government’s Workforce Development Council Reference Group and recently to the Auckland Regional Skills Leadership Group and is also currently on the Go with Tourism Advisory Board and MPI’s Food and Beverage Forum.

Mike Egan

39 years in hospitality sit behind Mike Egan, the National President of the Restaurant Association of New Zealand. He co-owned his first restaurant in 1983, Van Gogh’s Eastbourne, and has gone on to co-own another 11 hospitality and accommodation businesses in New Zealand, with a stint managing a Private Members Club in the centre of London. Mike remains close to the coal face of hospitality, as co-owner of Boulcott St Bistro, Monsoon Poon Wellington and Auckland, and Burger Liquor. A true Wellingtonian, invested in giving back to his local community, Mike is also a Trustee of Wellington Culinary Events Trust – the operator of Visa Wellington on a Plate, and a Member of the Wellington Mayoral Recovery Advisory Panel.

Krishna Botica

Born in Auckland in 1971, Krishna Botica has been associated with hospitality since the age of 14, ensconced since 18 and managing establishments since 23. Botica has worked in such diverse markets as Boston, London and the Auckland City Art Gallery coffee shop and as a waiter, bartender, maître d’ and company director. Her name and expertise have been associated with many of the groundbreaking Auckland restaurants that have set the groundwork for the city’s current burgeoning dining scene including Prego, Metropole, S.P.Q.R. Krishna is the director of Café Hanoi, which was founded in 2010, as well as saan and Xuxu Dumpling Bar. As well as her love for hospitality, Krishna holds a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Auckland with a double major in 16th Century English Literature and Italian Language & Culture and holds a Level 4 Workplace Assessor qualification from the Hospitality Standards Institute.

Tamati Coffey MP

Alongside husband Tim Smith, Tamati Coffey (Ngāti Porou, Ngāti Awa, Ngāti Whakaue, Tūhourangi and Ngāti Tūwharetoa) owns the Ponsonby Rd bar in Rotorua’s foodie mecca Eat Streat. Ponsonby Rd brings a flash of Auckland style to Rotorua, showcasing live jazz music in a slick, stylish setting. Tamati is also an active advocate for hospitality issues, as a Member of Parliament, representing the Waiariki electorate. Prior to his political and hospitality roles, Tamati was an award-winning television presenter working in the broadcasting industry for a decade, engaging with communities right across the motu (country).

Lee Ann Muntz

Richard Sigley founded the Nourish Group back in 2001. It now comprises 13 beloved restaurants in Auckland, Wellington, Taupō and Queenstown. Spanning two decades, the Nourish Group is a local enterprise that has evolved to become the benchmark for hospitality businesses in New Zealand that’s adding value to the country’s economy and culture. Richard created brands such as with Jervois Steak House (Auckland & Queenstown), The Crab Shack (Auckland &Wellington) and most recently The Brit. In a notoriously tough industry he has iconic venues such as Euro, Soul, Shed 5, Pravda and the recently redeveloped Andiamo all under the Nourish Group umbrella. As a passionate restaurateur he founded the Better Bar company after successfully rebranding the Cock and Bull into Doolan Brothers, which counts O’Hagans and the redeveloped Cavalier Tavern amongst its 15 bars. A major shareholder of Good Spirits Hospitality, private owner of Brew on Quay and Charlie Farley’s, there’s seemingly nothing Richard hasn’t added flavour to. When he’s not in the boardroom or hands on at one of his sites, Richard can often be found in the company of his wife and children at his Waiheke home.

Richard Sigley

Arjun Gill’s parents opened their first Little India Restaurant in 1991, so Arjun grew up in the hospitality industry. He has worked in all aspects of the business, from dishwashing, working in the kitchens, managing restaurants and now looks after the business nationally. Little India remains a family run business, running as a franchise model. Arjun is a true foodie at heart: passionate about the hospitality industry and its long term success.

Arjun Gill

Sophie Gilmour lives and breathes food and hospitality. She’s been waitressing at many of Auckland’s best restaurants from 17 years old; co-founded multi-site free range rotisserie chicken concept Bird On A Wire; and most recently honed her cooking skills at the Ballymaloe Cookery School in Ireland. Sophie applies skills from her time in commercial litigation, as a Board Member of hospitality industry charities Dine Aid and Everybody Eats and as a hospitality operator to advise and empower the industry she loves most.

Sophie Gilmour

Born in Bangkok, Thailand, Bo Manoonpong moved to Aotearoa in 1989 and founded one of Auckland’s oldest Thai restaurants, Mai Thai. Often considered the ‘official venue’ for dinners by visiting Thai delegations and officials, Mai Thai spent its final month of operation in March giving back to the local community by donating $2.00 from each main dish sold to Starship Hospital, as a way to thank Aucklanders for their support. With the love of hospitality reigning supreme, Bo remains a Director of Quality Restaurant Group Ltd, which operates iconic Grasshopper Bar & Restaurant, Thai Street Restaurant and Baa Baa Black Sheep Cafe at Stamford Plaza in Auckland’s CBD. Bo is also a Director of Mai Thong Investments Ltd, an investment company, which has planted 30,000 Macrocarpa trees in South Head to date.

Bo Manoonpong

Frank Hsu is the owner/operator of both Frank’s Coffee/Cafe at The Terrace and at Newtown, Wellington.  After graduating with a business degree, he chose to pursue the dream of owning a cafe by starting out as a dish hand and worked his way up to become an Owner/Operator, over 13 years of involvement in the Wellington cafe scene. Frank is a committed member of New Zealand Specialty Coffee Association and his competitive nature and pursuit of excellence in craft motivated him to enter the MeadowFresh NZ Barista Championships in 2017 and 2018, achieving 3rd place and appointed a sensory Judge in 2019.

Ruth Pretty

Steve has 35 years’ experience in the hospitality industry. He is passionate about New Zealand, its food chain, hospitality, tourism and the amazing Kiwis who have potential to make us number one in the world. His wellknown restaurant, Logan Brown, is considered one of New Zealand’s finest, and Steve is considered one of the most influential restaurateurs in the Kiwi culinary landscape. Steve also owns Grill Meats Beer Restaurant and consults to Bellamys by Logan Brown at the Beehive.He works directly with education institutions and believes direction, mentoring, training and quality experiences for employees are more important than ever. Steve is the current National Vice president for the Restaurant Association and sits on the advisory board of Eat NZ.

Jackie Grant

Jamie is a founder and CEO of Kāpura, a diverse hospitality company based out of Wellington with 38 hospitality businesses spread across Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga. Kāpura is multifaceted, with a portfolio of Gastro Bars, Restaurants, Functions Venues, Contract Catering and a share in a Brewery. Kāpura is extremely passionate about developing it and people so that they can have a rewarding career in the industry.

Lisa Levy

Chand Sahrawat

Goff Soponprapapon

Isabel Pasch

Nic Watt

Latest News


We want to keep a finger on the pulse of the issues that our industry are facing and welcome any feedback from our members. Please fill in the below form if you’d like to send us confidential feedback.