Waka Kotahi trial aims to improve access to driver licence testing services in Tairāwhiti


Today Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Gisborne with two community providers to trial an alternate way of delivering driver licence testing services in the region.

The MOU is between Waka Kotahi and the Tairāwhiti Rural Education Activities Programme and local company J & S D McInnes Ltd.

“Waka Kotahi wants to address access and equity issues while a long-term strategy for the driver’s licence system is being developed,” says Waka Kotahi Director of Land Transport Kane Patena. 

“This trial will go some way to help inform us of the potential changes we might need to make. We know through partnering at a local level, we will gain more in-depth, real life experiences and feedback  from  individuals and whānau, which is vital if we’re going to make changes. 

“In this trial we will be working alongside two organisations who are well-established, connected and passionate in delivering this kaupapa,” says Mr Patena

The trial aims to increase driver testing services to help reduce the demand for practical tests and long wait times currently being experienced in Tairāwhiti.

The new service is in addition to the service provided by Waka Kotahi agent VTNZ  in Gisborne and will increase capacity in the region. The trial will run for twelve months with a review agreed to take place at six months. 

Ani Pahuru-Huriwai Tumuaki/Executive Director Tairāwhiti REAP, says she is ecstatic to have the opportunity to transform the lives of more rural whānau through this agreement.

 “It is has taken many, many months of advocacy, lobbying, meeting with anyone and everyone who was prepared to listen, to get to this stage. Our team is looking forward to getting stuck in, and helping more of our rural Tairāwhiti drivers succeed,” says  Ani Pahuru-Huriwai.

John McInnes Director J & S D McInnes Ltd  says, “We are excited to have the opportunity to be involved with this new trial and can see it will deliver greater licensing opportunities to a wide community.” 

The trial will also evaluate users’ experiences of testing services which will inform a review of the content and delivery of tests and the way they are administered. 

“Lastly, the trial will inform us whether providing driver testing services in partnership with community providers, lessens wait times and demand for practical tests in regions such as Tairāwhiti,” says Mr Patena.