Central Hawke's Bay locals will be able to sit their practical driver licence test closer to home from next Wednesday 30 November, and will have one of New Zealand’s first community driver testing officers working in their community.
The Waipukurau Community Driver Testing Officer (CDTO) is one of 10 who recently graduated from the first Waka Kotahi CDTO training course in early November.
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 Waipukurau, this programme is provided by Connect Youth & Community Trust.
Waka Kotahi Director Regional Relationships, Linda Stewart says it is great to see practical driver testing available in Waipukurau and to welcome the new Community Driver Testing Officer.
“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. The new Community Driver Testing Officer in Waipukurau is part of that solution.
“Community Driver Testing Officers are from their local communities, providing a familiar friendly face which is really helpful for people sitting their driver test who might face hurdles in getting there. The officer based in Waipukurau will work for the Connect Youth & Community Trust to test driver licence programme participants for a Class 1 licence,” Ms Stewart says.
VTNZ National Technical Manager, Craig Basher, says VTNZ working with Waka Kotahi to improve and expand driver testing services in communities around New Zealand.
“Having more trained and licensed drivers makes our roads safer for everyone, and we’re thrilled that practical driver testing in Waipukurau will begin on Wednesday 30 November.” Mr Basher said.
“At this stage we are committed to having a Driver Testing Officer in Waipukurau once a fortnight, 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 Waipukurau, Waka Kotahi and VTNZ are jointly establishing practical driving test routes in Wairoa, Kaikohe, and Dargaville this year.
VTNZ will be offering practical driver testing to the general public from 30 November. Online bookings are open now here: https://www.nzta.govt.nz/online-services#driver-licensing
Practical driving tests for Connect Youth & Community Trust programme participants start from 24 November.
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