Saturday, November 27

Wairoa takes a new approach to unlicensed drivers

Wairoa community leaders say they have devised a temporary solution to help resolve their lack of driver’s license tests.

Wairoa Maui Aben Police Sergeant Major

Wairoa Maui Aben Police Sergeant Major
Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin

The isolated district of Hawke’s Bay does not have restricted or complete driver’s license tests, and this is affecting the lives of the Rangatahi in particular.

Being caught by the police without a license would give young people their first “brush with the law.”

But police and community agencies say they are working together to give Rangatahi another chance.

In recent months, Wairoa Police have been working with the Wairoa Young Achievers Trust to make it easier for people to obtain a license.

“We are stopping drivers and checking that they have driver’s licenses, those who do not have them will receive a violation notice, but the flip side of that violation notice is that we actually refer individuals to organizations like Wairoa Young Achievers Trust, “Said Wairoa Police Sergeant Major Maui Aben.

Officers advised people to use a law enforcement app called AWHI, and the fine would be lifted if they got their license.

The app gives police the ability to make referrals on the spot to social services for people in need.

“It’s a great incentive, I’d rather spend money on a driver’s license than have to pay a violation fee,” Aben said.

“Having a driver’s license allows people to get jobs, move around and offers a level of freedom.”

Wairoa Young Achievers Trust Youth Services Manager Denise Eaglesome-Karekare said they had received four referrals from the system so far.

“It is a positive step forward, it is positive for the Rangatahi, it is positive for the police and you know what, I honestly think that the police are not trying to reserve them and accuse them and whatever, they really want to help, so we are more willing to support in that area because we can. “

He said his staff would help those in need get to Napier or Gisborne for a test.

She was still a barrier for not having a license test.

“But we have worked with that, because we have no other option, it is what it is.”

Denise Eaglesome-Karekare, director of youth services for the Wairoa Young Achievers Trust.

Denise Eaglesome-Karekare, director of youth services for the Wairoa Young Achievers Trust.
Photo: RNZ / Tom Kitchin

A Waka Kotahi spokesperson said representatives met with Wairoa Mayor Craig Little and his Deputy Mayor Hine Flood last year to discuss the lack of driving tests in the city.

“This conversation focused on solutions for using Wairoa roads to support driver training so that when candidates traveled outside of the region (eg Napier) to take their driving test, they were prepared. what the restricted license exam awaits.

“The conversation also focused on what kinds of road network design changes the City could make, such as right-turn intersections and roundabouts to allow for a better driver training experience. Over the past 12 For months, Waka Kotahi has continued to collaborate with the Wairoa community at large and Deputy Mayor Hine Flood more on this topic.

“Wairoa does not yet offer the necessary variety of road situations required by restricted testing, so Waka Kotahi has not given further consideration to practical testing at Wairoa at this time.”

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