Practical driving tests now available in Dargaville


Dargaville locals will be able to sit their practical driver licence test closer to home from Tuesday 6 December, and will also have two of New Zealand’s first community driver testing officers working in their community. 

The public are able to book practical tests that will be conducted by VTNZ. For people participating in driver licence programmes run by Te Uri O Hau Tangata Development Ltd and Blue Light, they will also be able to book tests with a Community Driver Testing Officer.  

The Dargaville Community Driver Testing Officers (CDTO) are two of a group who recently graduated from the first Waka Kotahi CDTO training course.  

Funded by Waka Kotahi, Community Driver Testing Officers are a brand new role, introduced to offer dedicated Class 1 practical tests to participants in community-led driver licensing programmes. In Dargaville, this programme is provided by Te Uri O Hau Tangata Development Ltd and Blue Light. 

Waka Kotahi, Director Regional Relationships, Steve Mutton said he’s pleased to see practical driver testing available in Dargaville and to welcome the new Community Driver Testing Officers. 

“A driver licence opens the door to opportunities like jobs, training, and much more. We know some people face barriers accessing the driver licence system.

“Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency is leading a cross-agency Driver Licensing Improvement Programme to develop solutions to improve access and equity and the new Community Driver Testing Officers in Dargaville are part of that solution.

“Community Driver Testing Officers are from their local community. In Dargaville, they will work for the Te Uri O Hau Tangata Development Ltd and Blue Light to test driver licence programme participants for a Class 1 licence. They are a familiar friendly face which is really helpful for people sitting their driver test who might face hurdles in getting there.

“Having more trained and licensed drivers makes our roads safer for everyone” said Steve Mutton. 

Kaipara District Council Mayor Craig Jepson said, “much of our district is rural and heavily relies on driving as a means of getting around, so having easy access to practical driver licensing in one of our main centres is terrific news. Dargaville residents and surrounding areas will no longer have to trek to Whangārei.” 

VTNZ National Technical Manager, Craig Basher, said VTNZ was very pleased to work with Waka Kotahi to expand driver testing services in communities around New Zealand.  

“Practical driver testing in Dargaville began on Tuesday, 6 December 2022, with slots filling up fast.

“At this stage we are committed to having a Driver Testing Officer in Dargaville fortnightly, but we can reassess that if the demand is higher than expected. Bookings are open and I recommend that those wanting to sit their practical Class 1 Restricted or Full Licence get in quick as new services tend to fill up quickly.”  

As well as Dargaville, Waka Kotahi and VTNZ have recently established practical driving test routes in Kaikohe, Wairoa and Waipukurau. 

VTNZ will be offering practical driver testing to the general public from 6 December 2022. Online bookings are open now here: link)

Practical driving tests for Te Uri O Hau Tangata Development Ltd and Blue Light programme participants start from 12 December 2022.