Tū Mai Taonga now has several newly licensed drivers on the team after sending an 11-person contingent to Pukekohe for Driving Boot Camp.
The team spent three days practicing driving the test routes with instructors, giving them the confidence to sit their tests.
“It was very enjoyable and we were lucky to have such good teachers.” said field crew member Dane Kemp.
Many island residents delay obtaining a driver's license due to the cost of sitting the test, which has to be done off-island.
“It’s not just the test fee - but the time off work, transport, accommodation, food, practice lessons. It all adds up,” said Tū Mai Taonga’s training facilitator, Hannah Gale.
Luckily, a recent change by Waka Kotahi has introduced free re-sits for those who don’t pass the first time. More importantly, there is a dedicated team of driving instructors, led by Rebecca Hanrahan of Class 1 Driver Training, to help. Bec has run many driving boot camps for island residents, fully funded by Auckland Transport.
Bec says she loves to teach Barrier people and has even personally hosted several at her home when they come over for training, to keep their costs down.
The Boot Camps are primarily organised by Aotea whānau member, Rhanae Ngawaka, who works for Auckland Transport and has been a huge advocate for outreach for island people.
Tū Mai Taonga would like to acknowledge the hard mahi of Becs and her colleagues Claire, Carlsson, Manu, Marj, and Lauren for helping our drivers obtain their qualifications.