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Multilingual road rules booklet available

1 September 2005

Multilingual road rules booklet available for new residents

New Zealand’s most important road rules and safe driving tips are now available in seven languages for new migrants, international students and refugees.

An easy-to-read booklet released today by Land Transport New Zealand aims to help new residents adjust to the often demanding conditions of New Zealand roads. The booklet is available in English, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Fijian, Samoan, Hindi and Malay. These languages were selected based on information provided by the New Zealand Immigration Service.

The booklet is separate from a multilingual brochure released last month targeting tourists. Land Transport NZ research shows that long-term visitors and new residents have different information needs than short-term tourists. While tourists want to know what’s different about driving in New Zealand, the immediate focus of most new residents is on other arrival-related matters like finding accommodation, opening a bank account or looking for work. This means that relatively little attention is given to learning about New Zealand driving conditions, and new residents often find driving here more difficult than expected.

Interviews conducted with groups of new residents show that they have difficulty adjusting to the diverse driving conditions in New Zealand. The booklet concentrates on the aspects of New Zealand driving which new residents most commonly cite as problematic. These are:

driving on the left navigating roundabouts New Zealand’s unique give-way rules the diverse range of driving conditions – from busy city streets to winding rural roads adjusting from the often chaotic driving cultures of their home countries to New Zealand’s more controlled driving environment.

Nearly 50,000 people were granted residency under the New Zealand Immigration Programme and another 19,000 new residents were approved under the Family Sponsorship and International/Humanitarian residence stream in 2004/05, while over 100,000 international students came to New Zealand to study. Numbers are expected to be similar in 2005/06.

The new resident drivers booklet will be distributed in information packs sent to all new migrants by the Immigration Service, through English language schools, secondary schools and tertiary institutions, and through refugee and orientation courses. The booklet will also be available from Land Transport NZ offices and the Citizens Advice Bureau.

The booklet can also be viewed online at http://www.landtransport.govt.nz/overseasdrivers/

ENDS

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