Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search

 


Mentor programme to remove barriers for budding drivers

Mentor programme to remove barriers for budding drivers

The NZ Transport Agency and Gisborne District Council are welcoming a new mentor programme to help young drivers seeking their restricted licence. The programme, which is being funded by the NZ Transport Agency, was launched today in Gisborne.

Transport Agency group manager access and use Celia Patrick says Nga Ara Pai, the Community Driver Mentor Programme address issues of disadvantage for learner drivers in the 16–24 age group seeking to get their restricted licences, such as access to suitable vehicles, mentors and driving practice.

“Overseas research suggests that learner drivers should practise driving as much as possible before they start to drive alone. They should also practise driving in a wide range of driving conditions and situations.

“But getting this practice can be easier said than done, and some learner drivers need support to get this time and experience under their belt.”

Ms Patrick says there are a number of young drivers in the Gisborne region who have less than ideal access to driving practice, such as those living in rural areas, without access to a licenced vehicle, or without an appropriate experienced driver to supervise them during practice. The programme will help to remove those barriers, she said.

She says the programme is a pilot, and if successful, it could be extended to other regions.

Gisborne District Council road safety coordinator Lenora McDonald has coordinated the launch of the programme in the Gisborne. “It is good to see our whole community come together on such an important initiative. A number of mentors have already put their hands up and the Ministry of Social Development staff have been discussing the programme with their clients.”

At the launch Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon said “I am totally supportive of this programme. Things have changed since when I got my licence. Cars are more powerful and the statistics show we need to do more with our young people to keep them safe.”

“Having a mature person sit alongside when our young people are in the driver’s seat has got to be a good move. It’s a different relationship than mum or dad sitting in the car with their kids. Mum or dad might growl. Our volunteers won’t. I hope they will develop lifelong relationships with the young people they will be spending at least 30 hours with. The mentors will be making a big difference in their lives. The first question many employers ask is “Do you have a drivers licence? We want your young people to be able to answer ‘yes I do’.

After stirring waiata and haka from Te Kura o Manutuke kapa haka group, Inspector Sam Aberahama from Gisborne police said at the launch “If this is the future of Tairawhiti we are heading in the right direction.”

“Nga Ara Pai means ‘good pathway', a good pathway to achieve your driver’s licence. That’s what Gisborne Police staff, who have put their hands up to be a mentor, will be doing. They will support young learner drivers from the beginning until they are successful. Rangatahi are over represented in our road accidents and we need to reduce this.”

Inspector Aberahama was proud to be part of initiative that will empower young people. “Twenty Gisborne Police staff have put their hands up to be mentors. I am one of those. I have put my hand up not as a boss but as a member of the community wanting to volunteer. I want to make a difference in the life of the young people I mentor.”

Gisborne’s young Tongan community will be one group that will benefit from the Nga Ara Pai – Community Driver Mentor - initiative that was launched in Gisborne this week. Karauria Ruru is the Whanau Ora Navigator at Kaiti School.

“Kaiti School has a large Tongan community. Many members of the community have had difficulty achieving their drivers licence because of the language barrier. Many don’t feel comfortable or confident to attempt it. This restricts their employment opportunities and makes getting around the district a financial burden that affects the whole family.”

“When I heard about the Nga Ara Pai programme I could see that this would be a big step in moving these families forward. Three Tongan mentors have joined the programme and have started their mentor training.”

Viliami Haupeakui is one of those mentors. ”I am happy to volunteer my time as I can see that helping our young people achieve their licence is the key to making them self reliant. I am looking forward to mentoring Tongan and other youth through this process.”

The Transport Agency and Gisborne District Council are grateful for the support of Chevron New Zealand, who have provided valuable sponsorship for the programme, and the Automobile Association.

Who is involved in the Community Driver Mentor Programme?

Community organisations identify learner drivers and mentors from amongst their own networks.

Gisborne’s Passrite Driving Academy will coordinate the drivers and mentors and over see the running of the programme.

The Mentors themselves are not driving instructors but act as coaches supervising a range of practise driving experiences. They talk with the learner drivers to help them learn to think about their driving, how they need to manage the vehicle, and target what they need to practise.

The AA undertakes 3 driving lessons for each learner driver at useful points in each of their programmes, identifying areas the learner needs to focus on, and also delivers a session for the mentors themselves before they start the programme.

Chevron New Zealand, which markets the Caltex brand, is supporting the programmes by sponsoring all of the fuel used in the lessons. In addition they are enthusiastically supporting the programme corporately by encouraging their own staff and Caltex franchise holders to become mentors.

The Transport Agency supports the overall programme via the Community Road Safety Fund and with AA, has an overview role.

But ultimately it is the Learner Drivers who are the most important people in the whole programme. For them, this programme is a life changing event.

Role of Mentors

• Mentors are not driving instructors but act as coaches supervising a range of practise driving experiences for a total of 30 hours per learner driver

• Mentors receive training to help them supervise effectively

During supervised practice hours mentors will focus on the ways new drivers can:

• overcome risky impulses and attitudes to driving

• work on their personal skills and attitudes to planning safe trips

• aim to recognise and master difficult driving conditions.

Additional Learning resources we refer to

The Transport Agency driving skills syllabus www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/driving-skill-syllabus/

the Practice website www.practice.co.nz

the Transport Agency factsheet ‘Learning to drive: Getting your car licence’ www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/factsheets/45/learning-to-drive.html

The official New Zealand road code www.nzta.govt.nz/resources/roadcode/index.html

information from the AA on ‘Helping your teen buy their first car’ www.aa.co.nz/motoring/aa-torque/motoring-blog/buying-selling/helping-your-teen-buy-their-first-car/


Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Regional
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news