Waikato East

Waikato East classroom

The focus of our Trust "No child left behind"


Life Education Trust in Waikato East was started when the founder Trevor Grice approached Garry Willacy, the then principal of Thames High School in 1996. Together they established a trust that has never looked back. After a lot of fund raising the trust was officially set up in January 1999 and our educator and the mobile classroom held the first session in the area at Ngatea Primary School in February 2000. The trust has built on strong local connections and we are lucky to still have two of the founding trustees with us.

Our region

We cover 70 schools in a challenging area, from the top of the rugged Coromandel Peninsula at Colville School to just south of Matamata. From the East, the Waihi beaches at the end of the Western Bay of Plenty across the Coromandel Range, Hauraki Plains to Motumaoho, Thames Valley and up the Seabird Coast to Mangatawhiri in the West. The council areas of Thames coromandel, Hauraki district , Matamata Piako District and part of Waikato District Council areas

Our team

Our educator – Leiset Gregory            

Leiset started working as a teacher aide at her own children’s school and became very passionate and interested in education. She studied at Waikato University and began her very fulfilling role as a teacher. Leiset believed her job was to teach children to “reach for the stars”, and never to under estimate their ability.

She remembered the first time being in the Harold bus with her class and sitting their thinking, one day this will be me. Here she is today, excited, passionate to be teaching in the schools, and get to know the teachers and children in the Central Plateau. The message Harold wants to share is clear, Lets works together to pay it forward.



Keith Trembath

Keith Trembath - Chairman, Life Member Life Education

Keith joined the Trust in 2007 and was made a Life Member in 2019. He has lived all his life in the Hauraki area and been actively involved in his community for many years, including as a Councillor, Federated Farmers representative and Deacon.

Bruce Smith

Bruce Smith - Deputy Chair

Bruce has been involved with the Trust for 15 years and was awarded a Life Education Community Service Award in 2018. He  organises the substantial ongoing classroom maintenance and has driven major fund raising activities.

To Bruce, Life Education means:

“No child would be left behind and always be given the opportunity to attend the classroom."

Corinna Fairburn

Corinna Fairburn - Secretary

Frances Nicol Frances Nicol - Trustee
Mike Budd Mike Budd - Trustee
Tracey Adams Tracey Adams - Trustee
Graham Vincent Graham Vincent - Trustee
Gina Morrison Gina Morrison - Trustee


These are the key local supporters of Harold and Life Education that enable us work with our local schools:


Fonterra Service                               
Kerepehi Transport Limited (KTL)     
Murphy Buses                                   
Ngatea Panelbeaters                         
Valley Toyota                                  
Carley’s Transport – Te Kauwhata  
Carters Contractors – Waihi             


Thames Coromandel District Council
Hauraki District Council
Matamata Piako District Council
First Sovereign Trust
Morrinsville Lions
Paeroa Rotary
Valder Trust

Major Business Sponsors

Coombes and Associates
More FM
Richardson Real Estate
Stuff NZ Ltd – Hauraki Herald, Piako Post, Matamata Chronicle

Contact details

Chairperson: Keith Trembath, 07 862 6833, [email protected]

Educator: Leiset Gregory Phone: 027 438 8132, [email protected]

Postal address: Life Education Trust Waikato East, P O Box 144, Waihi 3641