The “Help a Taranaki Child Trust” (Hatch Trust) was established in December 2004 by a small group of Taranaki business people. They were anxious to help less advantaged children living in Taranaki, who have a tangible dream and desire and talent/skills to progress forward in their chosen field of study/career.

The stated purpose of the Trust is to “promote health and education of Taranaki children by enabling access to health facilities, amateur sporting facilities, educational facilities and cultural facilities”. A fund pool has been established from fund raising events and donations, and the interest accrued is now set aside to provide financial assistance in the form of grants.

In addition to their normal fundraising activities, the Trust actively looks to form associations or partnerships with corporate and private sponsors and donors. Their support and financial assistance can be recognised through the Trusts bi-annual general grant award process or a more specific grant or scholarship can be created through the Hatch Trust to support and nurture the talented and deserving children in Taranaki.


  Michelle Brennan
Michelle has been a trustee since 2008. Her background is in Marketing and Sales – previously working for Fairfax Media and MediaWorks. She is currently the BARA Membership and Events Coordinator at the Taranaki Chamber of Commerce.Michelle is an experienced organiser of community events and promotions and has many interests including various Sports, Arts and Word Puzzles.
Lindsay Thomson

Lindsay is an Authorised Financial Advisor and has been in business for 28 years. He has been a trustee of the Help A Taranaki Child Trust since its formation in 2004. Lindsay has been in trustee and governance roles for many years and is Chairman of the Taranaki Rugby Foootball Union.

He is a Fellow Associate Chartered Accountant and a life member of the Tukapa Rugby & Sports Club. Lindsay is married to Sharon, and they have 5 children aged 21 – 27 years.

Rodger Hassall

Rodger has resided locally all his life. Following his building apprenticeship, he and a colleague formed a building partnership which worked successfully for many years. Arthritis started to take its toll on Rodger, which is when the partnership finished and Hassall Homes evolved. This allowed Rodger to still be in the building industry, but without the hard, physical labour. Over time, the business has grown from two building teams to the busy house construction business it is today. Rodger is married with three adult sons. He is well known in the lawn bowling circle with the highlight of his bowling career being part of the winning National Fours team in 2013.

Marie Barrett

Marie is a retired primary school principal, her last 18 years spent at St John Bosco in Fitzroy. She and her partner have six adult children and 10 grandchildren. She says “In my role as teacher/principal I was privileged to work with many talented children. I also saw many parents and families experiencing difficult times, struggling to deal with the many issues of this busy age and I became involved in family support and counselling with many of my families. Many of the families had a child/children with identified superior talent that they were unable to guide to achievement and the success that was deserved – often talent lay idle.” Marie is delighted to be a trustee as she feels that opportunities taken to help a child can take many forms and can simply be life changing.

John Blackman
John has been involved with the HATCH Trust since its inception, covering its setup and initial fundraising in local news on Newstalk ZB.He became a Trustee in 2010 and enjoys the way HATCH can make a positive difference in young lives.John has lived in Taranaki since 2000 and is an enthusiastic promoter of the region with a keen interest in the local community. He is the father of two teenage boys who like to keep him on his toes.
Jo Whyte
Jo has worked full time as the Marketing Manager at Centre City since 2011 and joined the HATCH Trust in 2015. Jo served on the Taranaki Rugby League Board until 2016, is currently a Business Mentor through Venture Taranaki and on the BARA (Business and Retail Association) Committee.
Originally from Auckland, Jo has lived in Taranaki since 2001. She is married to a local high school teacher and has two step-children.