The Trust

The trust was set up in 2016 with the aim of creating employment opportunities for the formerly incarcerated. Paid work acts as a base to rebuild their lives, help people become meaningful contributors to their community, and ultimately become their best selves.

We do this by developing businesses that offer meaningful work, and by networking with other businesses to create work placements.

We will start with the opening of a café in the fledgling town centre of Naenae in which we place baristas we have trained while in prison. A job in a place where they have a supportive, prosocial community surrounding them. 

We work with the understanding that on any given day, staying out of court and prison is 80% employment, and 20% social support.

We partner with business owners, social workers, case managers, literacy educators, psychologists, doctors, whanau and a host of best-in-field practitioners to support our people giving them the greatest chance of turning their lives around.

Meet the Trustees


Matt Lamason

Matt is the founding chair of Trade School Industries Trust.

He is the founder and owner of Peoples Coffee, a fair trade organic coffee roasting, retail and wholesale business supporting and championing small coffee producers around the globe. After 12 years in the coffee industry, Matt has passed on the management of Peoples Coffee and is enjoying putting his energy into new projects.



Paul Soong

Paul brings digital marketing and business experience to the Trust.

In 2000 he started the world's first design agency that bridged the gap between education and employment, called The Church. The company helped over 40 young creatives find or start their first job. In 2014 The Church was acquired by Designworks NZ Ltd, part of the STW Group (an ASX listed public company). Paul now works at Careers New Zealand where he runs marketing, resource development and content teams.




Alison Robinson

Alison is a chaplain at Rimutaka Prison and a community worker in Naenae.

She has spent most of her adult life supporting a myriad of marginalized people, from the migrant and refugee communities of Wellington to recently released and paroled men coming out of prison. Alison’s experience working with traumatized people has given her a deep understanding of the complex challenges people with difficult backgrounds face.



Lauren Tennent

Lauren is the Training and Reintegration Manager of Trade School. She has a degree in criminology and psychology, as well as 9 years experience in the hospitality industry. Lauren started working at Peoples Coffee in 2013, and launched the Arohata Project soon after. Lauren developed the program over two years while working as head trainer in Arohata prison.


Martin Bosley

Martin Bosley is one of New Zealand’s finest chefs. He has worked in and owned a number of award-winning restaurants and now has his own range of food products called Bosley's Pantry.

Martin’s involvement in the Trust stems from his long-term work with inmates from Rimutaka prison. Martin has proved that the right interventions behind the wire can provide employment pathways after prison.