Driving change for whānau

Delivered by our Mana Tākata team, Aukaha Drive is our latest programme for whānau, supporting them to receive their driver's licence.

Aukaha Drive's Paul Miller And Nina Williamson Landscape 2

CEO Blog May 2023

Here at Aukaha, the Mana Tākata team are always looking for ways improve life for whānau and one of their latest projects, Aukaha Drive, does just that. It came about after Paul Miller, Kaiārahi Pūtere Rautaki identified a particular need within the employment space, to ensure workers were operating within the correct type of driver’s licence. The Mana Tākata team saw an opportunity to build on the licensing support work they’ve been doing for the last three years – paying for eye tests, helping whānau access ID, taking them to sit their restricted licence and in some cases, providing driver mentoring and a vehicle to sit their final test.

Inspired by the highly successful Auckland Chamber of Commerce licensing initiative, Cadet Max, Paul and Mana Tākata general manager, Chris Rosenbrock flew to Auckland late last year, to see the programme in action.

The end result is our new programme Aukaha Drive, which kicked off in January and has so far had a 100% success rate.

It’s a collaboration with the NZ Police and the Ministry of Social Development, and we run our 2-day programme every two weeks.  The NZ Automobile Association has given us a meeting room on their own premises, so that when whānau have finished their two-day licensing workshop, whānau can take the test immediately while all the information is fresh.

Sunset Driving

We’ve had some amazing feedback and a number of whānau have commented that they can’t believe how quickly they’ve gotten through the licensing process.

Mana Tākata’s Driver Licensing Co-Ordinator, Nina Williamson is doing a great job and we’re now keen to extend our programme beyond learner drivers to include more restricted and full licensing.

One of our future aims is to train our team to be I-endorsed driving instructors, enabling them to provide driving instruction versus mentoring.

The NZ Police have included us on their awhi system, so when someone has the wrong licence, they can be referred to us so they can study for the right one.

All this not only helps whānau into employment, it also helps keep them out of the justice system – and we want to do anything we can to stop that negative experience for whānau.

“The fact that a number were driving with Learner’s Permits, or with no licence at all, was proving to be a barrier for potential employers and we wanted to address that."

– Paul Miller, Kaiārahi Pūtere Rautaki

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