Telling Our Stories— Hurunui Community Driver Mentor Programme
Hurunui covers a large geographic area with small, rural communities. With no public transport, getting to jobs and services can be difficult.
Thanks to the Hurunui Community Mentor Driver Programme, Hurunui’s young people, as well as newcomers and migrants, have access to a mentor and two community vehicles to support them to achieve their Learner and Restricted licences.
How it started:
Young people in the Hurunui district face many challenges that come with living rurally. This includes no public transport. The Mayors Taskforce for Jobs coordinator kept seeing young people roadblocked for work opportunities because they didn’t have a licence.
Our answer was to develop the Hurunui Community Driver Mentor Programme.
Along the way...
A pilot programme was set up in Culverden. After connecting with local Fire and Emergency New Zealand member Craig Ritchie, mentors were found to match with five young people.
A council car was temporary located in Culverden to start the driving lessons until a lease vehicle was arranged.
The success of the pilot led to a Driver Steering Group in July 2022, comprising representatives from Fire and Emergency New Zealand, Police, our area schools, Welcoming Communities, Youth, Hurunui Road Safety, community representatives, the Amuri Vehicle Trust, Mayors Taskforce for Jobs, Ministry of Education and migrant support.
Funding was secured to employ a coordinator for 20 hours per week.
This year, the Hurunui Community Driver Mentor Programme has received 25 referrals to the programme. The programme has nine active mentors.
In June 2023, the programme provisioned an Adult Learner Licence Theory course that helped 12 adults, mainly migrants, to upskill themselves on the road code.
July 2023, Mayors Taskforce for Jobs provided funding for the lease of a second vehicle for a year.
To view the case study document, click on the link below: