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.

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Join the Cafe Team

Café Leader and Visionary

Located in Naenae, Trade School Kitchen (TSK) is a tight team of hospo guns who are passionate about their work, and have proudly created a much loved neighborhood café and meeting place. We are looking for someone to lead this team, see this cafe fulfil its vision, and go beyond serving great coffee and food to the local community. We are looking for the face of TSK.

TSK is instrumental in realising the vision of Trade School Industries, a charitable trust and social enterprise, giving formerly incarcerated people the chance to turn their lives around through employment.

As the leader of this team, your skills as a host, your attention to detail, your ability to keep a cool head during busy times, and your eye for quality and consistency will be exemplary to your crew. You’ll be in your element working hard with your team, yet have the courage to direct them while maintaining their respect. You will have mana.

Your responsibilities while overseeing the day to day running of this business will include but are not limited to:

· Roster management

· Recruitment and training of new staff as needed

· Budget management: staff costs, food costs, sales targets

· Menu development

· Ensuring compliance with licensing, hygiene and health and safety legislation/guidelines etc

Applicants MUST have a minimum of 1 year experience as a Cafe Supervisor/Manager and extensive hospitality experience prior to that. Aspiring managers will not be considered for this role. Your track record must be proven.

Applicants for this position should have NZ residency or a valid NZ work visa

Want to be part of something more than just a neighbourhood café?

Contact Lauren

Applicants for this position should have NZ residency or a valid NZ work visa.