AT is paving the way for a safer future of Māori on our roads

As part of Auckland Transport’s (AT’s) commitment to road safety, AT - in partnership with Māori community groups - delivers driver licence workshops.

Māori have the highest rate of road deaths in the Auckland region, and this is particularly high among 16 to 24-year-olds.

Having a learners, restricted or full drivers licence has been linked to reducing the chance of being involved in a crash. It also opens up career opportunities.

Auckland Transport’s Road Safety programme Te Ara Haepapa (To pave the future of Māori on our roads) work together with hapori Māori to create change within their communities.

52 students, plus whanau support, attended Auckland Transport’s Te Ara Haepapa workshops at Marlborough Park Hall in Kaipatiki last week - in partnership with Northern Jobs and NZ Police.

The Ministry of Social Development covered the cost of the test fees for a number of students, and other students either paid for themselves or received support from Kaipatiki Youth Development Trust.

31 students sat their learner licence on the third or fourth day of the workshops, and there was a 100% pass rate.

12 students are now ready to book their restricted or full licence after being assessed on their practical driving skills.

Many of the students who passed their test on the Wednesday came back to support their friends who were sitting the test the next day.

“It is a huge privilege for Auckland Transport to witness this positive change; and be part of the positive interaction between Maori and Pasifika students, police and youth providers,” says Rāhera (Rachel) Elisaia-Hopa - Team Leader Te Ara Haepapa.

“Auckland Transport will be supporting the rest of the youth, who are not yet 16 (or who are waiting for ID) in a few weeks’ time, with a refresher course.”

Auckland Councillor Angela Dalton, Māori outcomes lead, says this is a great initiative by AT and it is important to support our rangatahi and empower them with road safety awareness.

“Having a driver’s licence opens up opportunities for our rangatahi - including employment opportunities because they are mobile."