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Return of local driver licence testing celebrated

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A collaborative effort to return driver licence testing to Wairoa was celebrated last week.

Agencies and providers joined together to mark the return of local testing with Wairoa Mayor Craig Little describing testing being returned to Wairoa as a great day for the whole community.

“The past 10 years without local testing has been stressful for the whānau who have had to travel out of town to sit their licence, or for those who weren’t able to sit their licence out of town, they often then became involved with the justice system due to the barriers to gaining their driver licence. Having a driver licence is a key component of employment and having driver testing in Wairoa will support that.”

VTNZ National Technical Manager Craig Basher said it is the passion and mahi of the community that have driven the return of driver testing in Wairoa, and at other locations around the country. He said the aim is to get driver licences into communities where there are barriers, and this helps towards keeping our people safe.

Initially driver testers will travel from Gisborne on a fortnightly basis, but demand will be reviewed based on community feedback and a locally based tester living in the community hasn’t been ruled out.

Former local Council engineering manager and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Deputy Director of Land Transport, Neil Cook, said the return of driver testing to Wairoa, and other rural communities, recognises that one size does not fit all and doesn’t, and probably never will, work for every community.

He said it was great to see everyone aligned with the kaupapa which is based around improved access and road safety. “Now it is up to the community to embed it and make it withstand scrutiny to ensure it is never taken away again.”

Photo Caption: Celebrating the return of driver licence testing to Wairoa are from left, VTNZ National Technical Manager Craig Basher, Wairoa Mayor Craig Little, Deputy Mayor and Wairoa Young Achievers Trust Chief Executive Denise Eaglesome-Karekare and former Wairoa District Council Engineering Manager and Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency Deputy Director of Land Transport Neil Cook.

13 December 2022

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