Driving for Positive Change

SWIFT were delighted to commit to a third year of funding for the South Waikato Drivers Licensing programme with Transform Aotearoa taking over as lead providers in 2023.

The concept of the programme being that every student across the district’s five high schools / Kura kaupapa could access driver training, support and licensing free of charge to enable connections to work and education opportunities. Ministry of Social Development statistics in 2020 showed that of the 500 youth (18–24-year old's) seeking employment in the South Waikato:

·        5% had a restricted licence. 

·        3% had a full licence.

·        approximately 10% had a learners licence.

National statistics showed that 15% of youth held a restricted and 9% held a full licence at the same time, creating a significant disparity for the district’s rangatahi.

The impact of this has been significant on rangatahi gaining employment and participating in training, as a result SWIFT were keen to be part of the wider system to improve these statistics.

Feedback from the students and high schools has been positive especially with relationships formed with the driver instructors from Transform Aotearoa. 

One school stating, “Matua Lamen possesses a unique blend of patience, empathy, and expertise that enables him to connect with young drivers on a deep level.”

The results of this programme and the quality training provided are evident in the data with 483 driving lessons provided in 2023 and 316 licenses being achieved throughout the year.

It’s no wonder the feedback from students continues to be positive, with all expressing gratitude that this opportunity is available to them.