Meet Our Team

Southern Office Hospitality Team

Michael Pugh

Michael Pugh - Director

Michael has been actively involved in the hospitality industry since the mid 90s, successfully owning and managing restaurants and bars in both Auckland and Christchurch. His long list of achievements involves iconic bars and restaurants such as Auckland’s Lenin, The Paddington Bar, and Bubble Champagne and Cocktail Bar, and Christchurch’s Toast and The Brickworks. Because of this ongoing, hands-on involvement in hospitality, Michael has a very real understanding of the specific needs of our clients, having learned first-hand the importance great staff play in any hospitality business. Focused on delivering exceptional service, Michael prides himself on his ability to forge new relationships and foster ongoing ones. His specialty areas include Executive Management roles and Cheffing positions, where he calls on his extensive network of colleagues and contacts to provide quality solutions for every client, and candidate, he works with.  

Email:  Phone:03 943 0865  Mobile: 021 304 802

Liz Stegerhoek Pugh

Liz Stegerhoek Pugh - Director

Liz has been involved in recruitment for more than fifteen years, working in both the United States, and throughout New Zealand. Her diverse professional history includes stints in the corporate sector working as an Operations and General Manager of hotels, and 8 years in a Regional Manager/HR role for a major retail company, where she was directly responsible for managing more than 500 employees and 23 branches across the South Island.

In 2007 she founded The Recruitment Network, drawing on her personal experiences and her strong problem-solving skills to create a much-needed service for the hospitality industry. Thriving on a challenge and driven to succeed, Liz’s infectious energy and enthusiasm rubs off on everyone she works alongside, while her commitment to going above and beyond to achieve exceptional results for her client has quickly established The Recruitment Network as an industry leader.


Robert Alexander

Robert Alexander - Operations Manager

Robert has been passionately involved in the hospitality industry for over 15 years throughout Australia and New Zealand. He has worked his way from the bottom to the top, after starting as a ‘food runner’ at Viaduct Bar & Restaurant, Christchurch he moved to Australia, where he managed and operated some of Sydney’s most iconic venues including Cargo Bar & Lounge, Cruise Bar and Restaurant, Northies Hotel, Greengate Hotel and 1 hat restaurants including Four in Hand and The Buena & Bistro Moncur Mosman.

He prides himself on being a people person with a high-energy level, that understands the stresses of managing and owning hospitality businesses of all levels. After returning to New Zealand, he has chosen take on a new challenge with TRN which allows him to utilise his vast industry knowledge and his ability to read and find the right person, in the right role.

Email:  Phone:03 595 1582  Mobile: 021 195 6089


Gareth Thomas – Temp Consultant

Gareth has had an active presence in the hospitality industry since 1989. His journey began waiting tables at University and steadily progressed to managing one of Christchurch’s most loved and iconic restaurants. Having worked at all levels front of house hospitality has to offer, Gareth knows “hospo” inside out. (He even did a couple of kitchen shifts covering for absent colleagues, but they still give him nightmares!)

Don’t be fooled by his casual and relaxed manner, Gareth prides himself on getting the job done, going the extra mile since before it was an online bio cliché

Returning to the world of recruitment, Gareth brings his love for hospitality and contagiously cheerful perspective to the team and looks forward to playing match maker for TRN’s clients and candidates.

Email:  Phone: 03 943 0864  Mobile: 021 552 598

Emma Riddell

Emma Riddell - Temp Consultant

Emma has been on the hospitality scene for 20 years, from humbled beginnings as a kitchen hand in Brisbane, Australia. After graduating high school she began a 4 year Pastry apprenticeship at The Wesley Hospital, once qualified she rounded her skills in the industry by going into restaurant management.

After a 5 year break working in the corporate world, Emma relocated to Christchurch returning to the industry that she truly loves. Donning the Chef whites once more Emma found herself feeding the locals and tourist in the Restart Mall with Hummingbird Café. Once the decision was made to close the doors she moved on to set up and develop the kitchen at the Dunsandel Tavern, and commercial catering at Synlait.

Emma is bringing all her experience and love of the industry to TRN, her skills to multi task and passion for finding the right people, for the right role.

Email:  Phone:03 943 0869  Mobile: 021 616 821

Jono Stegerhoek

Jono Stegerhoek - Permanent Consultant

Jono has been involved in multiple hospitality roles starting at 14 years old working as a food runner at (the previously known) Jade Stadium in Christchurch.

Jono has been involved in multiple FOH temping roles for TRN over the past 7 years including large corporate events providing experience of how great it is working on “the other side” of TRN. Loving the fast-paced environment hospitality brings, Jono looks forward to each day being positive and productive to provide the best service to our clients and candidates.

Email:  Phone: 03 595 0119  Mobile: 021 701 058 

Darren Conole

Darren Conole - Permanent Consultant

In 1991, a young Australian Chef started as the Saucier in the well-known ‘Chandelier Room’ at Menzies at Rialto Melbourne. Over the next thirty years Darren Conole was to relocate to 5 Star properties around the globe.

On to the U.K. working for Sheraton in Edinburgh and stints in red ‘M’ restaurants in Scotland and then moving to London and undertake one of his favourite roles as Sous Chef at I-Thai, in Europe’s principal boutique hotel, The Hempel.

With his Kiwi Bride, they moved to New Zealand, where he took the role of Chef de Cuisine at Pescatore, The George.

Working as Executive Chef and Director of F&B, the next two decades saw Darren move to Korea, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, India, and back to China with hospitality giants Hyatt, InterContinental and luxury hotel brand Shangri-La.

2015 brought Darren “home” to NZ where he commenced as the Executive Chef at The George, Christchurch.

Email:  Phone: 03 943 0867  Mobile: 021 021 11120 


Shannon Bennett – Financial Controller

Shannon was born into the hotel and hospitality industry and began working as a runner and pot wash at age 15, graduating to waitressing in bars and restaurants and eventually working the bar in clubs and pubs. She grew up on a farm in Africa and after graduating university in South Africa with a degree in Politics, Shannon landed a finance and admin role with General Electric in London. She joined their graduate program and obtained her accounting qualifications while working her way up the corporate ladder. After a few years of living in London and travelling around Europe, Shannon embarked on what would be a 3-year journey: travelling, living and working around China, India and South Asia, the Pacific Islands, South and Central America, Cape Town and Tanzania. While in Bolivia Shannon met her Kiwi husband and in 2014 they moved to Christchurch with their young son. Four years later they have built a home and had two more sons. Prior to joining the Recruitment Network family Shannon worked for a hotel and property management company as a Finance Executive.

Email:  Phone: 03 595 1900  Mobile: 021 552 672

Debbie Monkman

Debbie Monkman (Dee) – Accounts Administration

After a few holidays in New Zealand, Dee and her husband fell in love with the outdoor life and decided to move from the UK to New Zealand in September 2011 and recently in 2015 built their own house – so no turning back now!

Dee has worked in a variety of jobs ranging from Interior Design, Floristry and since arriving in NZ accounts administration. She is an industrious and business-savvy accounts and finance professional; with progressive experience across a broad range of accounting and administration functions.

Dee works for our three branches (Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch) and is here to support both Clients and Candidates with wages, invoicing, roster statements, timesheets and everything in between!

Email:  Phone: 03 595 0118  Mobile: 021 552 672

Food Services Team

Holly web

Holly Baxter - General Manager

Holly is the General Manager of The Recruitment Network Fodd Services. In excess of 10 years in the company, Holly gets as excited today as she did when she first started. Holly specialises in administrative, executive and financial recruitment bringing clients and candidates the same seamless customer service we have been offering for over a decade.

Holly has gained knowledge in human resources strategy, operational systems, and processes through to driving revenue growth. Holly gives 100% and is driven to grow this business forward to find the best and brightest talent.  Holly values great relationships with her clients and candidates that are built on honesty, integrity and authenticity. She loves seeing great talent come through and seeing businesses prosper.

Holly acknowledges the importance of cultural fit, attitude and motivation in matching great management professionals with the right organisational culture. Food Services is nationwide and will offer both temporary and permanent staffing solutions.

Email:  Phone:(03) 595 1592  Mobile: 021 554 912

Meabh Moore

Meabh Moore – Candidate Resourcer TRN NZ

Originally from Ireland, Meabh moved to New Zealand after two years travelling from city to city in Australia, keeping busy with a variety of hospitality jobs along the way. From the historic Young & Jacksons hotel in Melbourne, to Darwins infamous Mitchell street, combined with some housekeeping in the outback - Meabh has seen it all!

Having studied Travel and Tourism Management back home, she is a firm believer on learning something new from everyone she meets. She thrives on the hustle of a busy day, and has never been afraid of some hard work. Bringing her people skills and love of the industry together, she is always there to listen to the needs of both clients and candidates.

Meabh will likely be the voice you hear when you call our offices, so forgive the accent, and as a heads up, it's  pronounced Dave - with an M.

Email:  Phone:03 943 0864  Mobile: 021 194 0364


Sarah Brownlee – Financial Administration 

Born in New Zealand and raised in Christchurch, Sarah worked in the supermarket industry for over 15 years. Working her way up from a checkout operator to a supervisor and staff trainer then into the office as an administrator.
Ready for her next challenge, Sarah has decided to try a new industry.
Sarah loves to travel see new place and meet new people.

Email:  Phone:03 968 0203

Central Office Hospitality Team


Olly Edwards - General Manager & Temp Consultant 

Having had a passion for cooking since a young age, Olly headed for the bright lights and big cities of New York and London cooking in some of the cities most famous restaurants (Michael’s of New York, Shepherds of Westminster). Born and bred in Wellington, Olly decided to return to his home town, to work at Boulcott Street Bistro, Paradiso, then Castro’s, before opening his own place Edwards Jones in 2001, followed by Trade Kitchen 2007, and Salt & Batter 2015.

Olly sold Trade Kitchen after 11 years, opting for fresh challenges away from cooking. He brings extensive industry knowledge to his new role, combined with maturity, a passion for people and an empathy geared towards bringing the best out of those around him.

As a restaurateur, he understands both the challenges and requirements facing owners and the expectation and opportunities available to those who choose to make hospitality their career.

Email:  Phone: 04 282 1275  Mobile: 021 552 745

Amy Pleasants

Amy Pleasants – Temp Consultant

Amy started her hospitality career at the tender age of 13, where she worked as an ice cream girl at her Nan’s cafe down on the Sheringham seafront.

During her time in Sydney, Ana stepped into the corporate world to further develop her customer service skills she enjoyed so much in hospitality, specifically client relations, administration and pressure filled deadlines. This allowed her to free up the weekends to embrace all there was Sydney had on offer.

In October 2017 Amy decided to take the leap to move to New Zealand to start a new chapter, settling in windy Welly for the foreseeable future. Amy will be the smiley, friendly face of The Recruitment Network Wellington. She is always happy to help, and is excited to put her skills and experience to good use by helping others to explore the most diverse and ever expanding world of hospitality.

Email:  Phone:04 282 1272  Mobile: 021 242 0176


Aiden Nicol – Administration

Aiden has worked in hospitality since he entered the workforce, working while studying to be an electrician. However when offered a managerial role in his job he stuck with that instead, and continued in that capacity in several establishments before becoming a chef at a local restaurant and brewery.

He decided to study and left his role as a chef to work as a part-time bartender while studying Business and Administration, and was offered a place with TRN not long after completing this.

Aiden enjoys cooking in his spare time, a good deal of reading and annoying people with pictures of his two dogs.

Email:  Phone:04 282 1274  Mobile: 021 575 245

Northern Office Hospitality Team

Andrew Methven

Andrew Methven - General Manager and Permanent Consultant

Andrew is a qualified chef who trained at Christchurch's CPIT. He has previously owned his own restaurants, Harbour 71 Akaroa, The Award winning, Mulberry in Christchurch before embarking on a career in Catering with Continental, who have looked after events such as The New Zealand golf open at The Hills in Arrowtown, as well as Warbirds over Wanaka.

After moving to Auckland in 2011 he undertook the Executive Chef role at Waipuna Hotel before more recently moving to Skycity to tackle the most demanding role of Executive Chef of Conventions and Out Catering. As the largest Convention business in Auckland Andrew excelled in the demanding and relentless environment achieving some notable successes in outcatering at ASB Tennis Classic, New Zealand Polo and Urban Polo events and Volvo Racing. His role also saw him oversee the successful day to day business of Conventions.

These roles have seen Andrew use many Temporary Staff to cover the needs of the business both for Front of House and the kitchen and it is all this experience he brings to The Recruitment Network.

Email:  Phone: 093205203  Mobile: 021 605 428

Josh Young

Josh Young – Temp Consultant

Josh firstly grew up around the industry with his parents owning multiple restaurants and catering businesses. He made his way into the industry from a young age and spent a solid 15 years as a chef, very much living and breathing the industry. He started in Marlborough but most of his time was spent in Christchurch where he ran multiple kitchens including some institutions like Cook ’n’ with Gas and new kitchens such as Gustavs and Original Sin.

A short stint in Australia working for a One and Only resort as a Chef de Cuisine, and a trip to a few places in the world to see how the bigger world lives brought him back with some fresh ideas ready to help the Christchurch hospitality industry in its revival after the CBD started to rebuild from the earthquakes.

He prides himself as an organised, stress free problem solver who always finds the solution especially in the kitchen where calmness and control was his method. After running some large kitchen teams, he knows and understands the organisation and skill sets required to run hospitality operations.

Email:  Phone: 09 320 5204  Mobile: 021 552 733

 Yaman BW2

Yaman Becerikli – Permanent Consultant

Yaman is a qualified hospitality professional. He started his hospitality journey 12 years ago in Turkey where he was working as a front of house staff member. Since arriving in New Zealand eight and a half years ago, Yaman has gained experience in operating a large variety of hospitality businesses. He has managed night clubs where he provided local and international artist entertainment, cafes where he became a coffee guru and restaurants and pubs where he became a familiar face for the locals. Most recently Yaman has worked at Kauri Bay Boomrock, one of Auckland’s most iconic events venues, where he was able to utilise his top-notch event management skills.

He understands the industry inside and out and which gives him skills to communicate with all. He prides himself as organised, energetic and goal driven, and ready to use his extensive knowledge to help people and businesses find the most suitable candidates.

Email:  Phone: 09 320 5207  Mobile: 021 554 649


Samantha Dharmapriya – Administration

Samantha born & raised in NZ with her family roots from Sri Lanka, started her career in Customer Service at the Langham Hotel now Cordis Hotel Auckland which gave her the tools to move on into some of Auckland’s TOP brands in call centres.

Fast forward several years Samantha ventured her passion for travel and tourism and moved into sales and support roles which is where her love for administration really blossomed. Combining her customer service and love for people Sam wanted to make the move to our Auckland office to provide the best service to all faces making their way through our door. She looks forward to meeting you!

Email:  Phone: 09 320 5206  Mobile: 021 190 0629