Driver Mentor Programme
The Hurunui District has a vast rural landscape with a large geographical spread with many rural communities. This can often create social isolation, transport issues, a lack of social connectedness and community participation.
Young people in the Hurunui District continue to face many challenges that come with living rurally. Currently there are very limited services available to them, including no public transport.
The only way to break down this barrier to finding employment, accessing services and making social connections, is to be able to drive.
We want to keep our rural roads safe, hence the Hurunui Driver Mentor Programme.
It started as a pilot programme based in Culverden with five young people. They were supported by Pro-active Drive, community mentors and Hurunui District Council staff.
Following on from this success, a steering group was formed in July 2022 with interested parties to evolve this into a district wide programme.
To learn more about working towards sitting your driver licence, or becoming a driver mentor, please refer to the side bar.
|Location:||Culverden area currently (but ultimately district wide)|
|Start Date:||mid 2022|
|Driver Mentor Programme Case Story|
Hurunui District Council News Articles
Recent Mentee Success
This week Jacob Tamatea felt a new sense of freedom.
For the past few months the 23 year-old dairy farm worker from Culverden has been a member of Council’s Driver Mentor Programme, having weekly driving lessons in and around Culverden with driver mentor Craig Richie.
On Tuesday he passed his Restricted Licence in Rangiora, describing the moment as ‘’exciting” when he was informed that he had passed.
“Anyone can learn to drive, it just takes the right attitude and the right mindset.”
Jacob is looking forward to exploring New Zealand, and is currently saving to buy himself a good safe car.
We welcome to the programme our new coordinator, Emma Feathery. Emma comes from background of training and education having previously worked for to University of Canterbury and in apprenticeship training. She is excited and passionate about the role, safe driving and creating opportunities for people within our district.
Now that Emma is in place, we are looking to expand on our on our successful pilot programme in Culverden by starting a new group of learners in the township.
We have based a second car in Amberley and are actively seeking a new group of learners (mentees) and mentors to start from this base.
Provision for other townships is being considered and we look forward to updating you on our progress in the coming months.
On Monday 12 December we received confirmation of a successful funding application to the Ministry of Education's Regional Response Fund.
We were lucky to secure the full amount requested of $25,000. This will fund fuel, education classes and programme expansion.
Interviews for the programme coordinator took place week of Monday 12 December and we look forward to appointing someone shortly to start in the new year.
The steering group continues to meet monthly and progress the district wide programme.
- funding from the Ministry of Social Development to employ a Driver Mentor Coordinator to oversee the mentors who will deliver driving instruction to learner drivers throughout the District.
- access to a second vehicle
Applications for the Driver Mentor Coordinator role close on 6 December, and its hoped that they will be available to start January 2023.
Those interested in being a mentor can apply at: www.hurunui.govt.nz/drivermentor
The following groups met on 26 July to discuss the merit of making the pilot a district wide programme.
- Hurunui District Council - Community Partnerships Team
- Hurunui District Council - Mayors Taskforce for Jobs
- Hurunui District Council - Road Safety Coordinator
- Culverden Fire Brigade
- Culverden Police
- Amuri Vehicle Trust
- Ministry of Education
- Filipino Community Representative
- Cheviot School
- Pro-Active Drive
- Fire and Emergency New Zealand
After an open discussion about the pilot programme the group agreed that it was worth evolving this into a district wide programme.
Key priorities were to source funding for a part time coordinator, access to an additional vehicle, funding to cover administration costs (classroom lesson package, driving tests) and sponsorship of fuel costs.