Tairawhiti GDL

Through our Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) programme, we prepare our communities with the tools they need to go “2MAHI”. Thanks to significant funding from the Provincial Growth Fund, we are able to offer this AMAZING opportunity to our communities from Potaka in the north to Muriwai, Motu, Tiniroto in the south.
For those of us out there who sat their licence, 100 years ago,when it was a really easy process, this all might seem a bit over the top, but things have definitely changed in this space.
These days, to get a full driver’s licence is really difficult. There are HUGE barriers for people to overcome, and when you live rurally, these barriers are even more challenging.
– the cost of the licence itself
– if your vehicle fails, you fail
– the fear of failing is real and prohibits our whanau from achieving their dreams and aspirations
Our students pay a bond of $80 to register on the programme. This shows, they have skin in the game, and is to help cover the cost of a resit, should they need it. But if they don’t, then its reimbursed to them at a Graduation Luncheon held twice a year.
So how do we eliminate the barriers facing our rural Tairawhiti communities? Working with our partners McInnes Driver Training school,
– our team goes out to the rural communities to meet our people kanohi-ki-te-kanohi, and to let them know “we’ve got them”
– the cost of lessons ($80 per lesson)
– critical key to success if you are unfamiliar with driving in town
– the cost of getting to Gisborne, the nearest testing station
– the time off work, organising children
– organising life
– the vehicle having a vehicle that is registered, warranted and is up to date
We provide transport to and from Gisborne
We provide lessons x 2 per person
We pay for the licence fee & test
We fund the Defensive Driving course
We provide a kai
We help to get licences reinstated
We provide lots of pastoral care and support to help our students through
We also ensure employers are informed

Ani Pahuru-Huriwai: 2018 ACE Aotearoa Annual Award for Member of the Year Tangata Whenua

Ani Pahuru-Huriwai is executive director of Tairawhiti REAP. She divides her time between the Gisborne office of Tairawhiti REAP and her home at Onepoto, Hicks Bay from where she has worked to reconnect whanau with whenua, whakapapa and whanaunga. She works to provide education, training and job opportunities for young people who would otherwise have to leave their communities.

As an advocate for rural communities, Ani is a force to be recknoned with. She has fought a number of battles including helping to stop oil exploration on the East Coast and establishing Te Puna Manaaki a Ruataupare Community Centre at Onepoto. which is home to a number of services including Tairawhiti REAP.

With the support of Te Wananga o Raukawa, Ani and former colleagues created a Maori library qualification, the Diploma in Maori and Information Management, and Ani has helped introduce marae- based degree studies on the East Coast.

Ani has held a number of advocacy and governance roles. She was president of Te Ropu Whakahau, the Maori Library Workers’ Association and a member of the Archives NZ Council. She is currently serving on Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou as the elected representative for her Rohenga Tipuna.

Ani was a member of the ACE Aotearoa Board from 2009-2016. She was co-chair Tangata Whenua from 2011-2015 and provided invaluable leadership, creativity and support for flagship events such as the annual conference, Hiui Fono and launch of Adult Learners’ Week/He Tangata Mātauranga. (Her talents included composing waiata for the ACE team to sing)!

She was a valuable member of the Hui Fono Advisory Group helping to develop themes and programme content and has recently used a Hui Fono model approach to working with the local Samoan community in Tairawhiti in a learning exchange PD project. Ani also led the Māori Success research project commissioned to explore economic prosperity as an indicator of success for Māori communities.

Ani represented ACE Aotearoa at the ASPBAE Leadership Development course in the Phillipines, promoting a strong Aotearoa indigenous perspective among fellow participants. She brings warmth, intelligence and authenticity to whatever situation she finds herself in.

More than 50 graduates of licensing programme

More than 50 people from the East Coast completed the Tairawhiti REAP graduated drivers’ licence programme last week, a life-changing experience for most of them.

Through the REAP (Rural Education Activities) programme, 56 people acquired their restricted or full driver’s licence and celebrated at a graduation at Waikanae Surf Club.

It was the fourth intake of students since the programme started last year.

Ani Pahuru-Huriwai, of REAP, said there was a high demand since the onset and it continued.

“Initially, I didn’t realise how big an impact it would make,” she said.

“We’ve had high numbers come through and that is just for the East Coast. We are yet to deliver the programme to rural Gisborne.

“What we’ve observed is that the need has not diminished, and we have a model that works really well.

“The relationships between us, McInnes Driving School and Vehicle Testing NZ is great.

“People trust us to get them through. We try our best to mitigate all of the barriers.

“We have a 97 percent pass rate. Now we are applying for funding from Eastland Community Trust to continue the programme.”

Mrs Pahuru-Huriwai said success was measured not only by the demand and pass rate, but in the stories of those who now have their licence.

The programme has been life-changing for the Holloways of Potaka, with mother Juanita (full licence) and children Brandon and Katarina (both restricted) graduating together last week.

Juanita had been sitting on her learners since 2007. Through the programme, she gained her restricted last year and her full licence in May this year.

A teacher at Te Kura Kaupapa Maori o Kawakawa Mai Tawhiti, she said the lessons and defensive driving courses helped to boost her confidence, especially driving in the city.

“I’m doing my post-graduate studies at Waikato University. I couldn’t drive myself there before but now I can.

“Also, I can now drive the school vans.

“I’m so thankful to REAP, McInnes Driving School and the funders. Without the help that they have offered, I wouldn’t be able to complete my licence.”

As a direct result of the programme’s success, Tairawhiti REAP has secured funding from the NZ Police for a driver mentor to be based in Te Araroa.

It is part of the He Tangata Road Safety project, which is delivered nationwide.

The driver mentor will be i-endorsed, meaning they will be able to take people for their learner, restricted and full licence lessons. A vehicle will also be provided.

East Coast MP Anne Tolley attended the graduation and said it was “fantastic” to hear the difference the programme made in people’s lives.

“Let’s hope that the funding does continue so we can see more of you get your licences.”

Gisborne Mayor Meng Foon congratulated the graduates.

“I’m pleased to see that some of you are advancing your careers because you now have your licence. The investment is only small but it is an investment for a lifetime.”

Image Caption:
LICENSED TO DRIVE: The Holloways of Potaka are among the latest gradutes of the Tairawhiti REAP graduated drivers licence programme. Mother Juanita (front) received her full licence, and her children Katarina and Brandon received their restricted licences.

Licensing rural residents to drive – Tairawhiti REAP

IT IS amazing what a little pastel-coloured card can do to empower individuals and communities. Whether it is a blue, yellow or a green card, a driver’s licence opens up so many opportunities. Tairawhiti REAP executive director Ani Pahuru-Huriwai knows only too well. She has seen the impact of how it can change people’s lives, especially for those living in rural communities.“A driver’s licence is a basic-level qualification,” she says.
“In many cases you can’t get a job without a full driver’s licence. Or you need your full to be able to sit your heavy vehicle licence so you can get a good job. “Or you can’t leave the country for a job you have lined up, because you have fines from being caught driving without a licence.
“All of these things have a huge impact on whanau with financial stress and mental health. We’ve seen it and if we’re in a position to help our people not go down that track, then we’ll do what we can.”
REAP (Rural Education Activities Programme), in collaboration with the McInnes Driving School, police, Vehicle Testing New Zealand, Te Runanganui o Ngati Porou, Maori wardens and Te Puni Kokiri have been helping people get equipped through the graduated driver licensing programme.
The most recent round had 38 people graduate from the rural areas of Wharekahika (Hicks Bay), Ruatoria and Uawa (Tolaga Bay). Of these graduates, 21 went from learner to restricted and 17 from restricted to full.

Since last year, the TPK-funded programme has turned out 134 graduates from Wairoa and the East Coast.
“It all began in Wairoa. People kept banging on our Wairoa office door inquiring about driver licences. We couldn’t ignore, the demand was so high.
“REAP do a personal development plan with each participant and see what other licences they would like to do further down the track.
“The plan is to try to get them to go from one level to the next.”
When participants were asked why they had not graduated to the next level in licensing, typical responses were:

  • fear of failure
  • they had failed before
  • were too scared to try again
  • cost of the licence
  • cost of getting to town
  • not confident to drive in town
  • no legal vehicle.
  • “If we can help remove some of these barriers, it will empower our people and may also eliminate or reduce some of those other social issues.”

East Coast participants were transported to Gisborne by REAP to do one or two driving lessons with McInnes Driving School and the following day would sit their test in a vehicle provided. “This proved to be a winning formula, with the added value of sitting their licence with friends and family.
Inter-generational success in one family alone was one of the highlights of the programme. “We had a grandfather come in with his son and grandson, and now their mission is to get more of the whanau licensed. “We had a lot of young mums also, so they could get licensed to help drive their kohanga reo van. “Others wanted to get licensed so they could eventually drive their community rural fire truck, which is vital in those communities. “For some of our graduates, it was the first time they had ever passed a test. So, it not only gave them more independence, it boosted their self-esteem. All of these things have a massive impact on the health and wellbeing of our community.”

However, more funding is needed to keep the programme running, to help people reach the next level as well as push it out to the Gisborne rural areas.

“We have 96 people in Wairoa who achieved their learner licence and now what? We’ve set up an expectation and we can’t do anything about progressing because we haven’t got the funding.

“To do a really good job of it and make a dent in things like licence-related traffic offences, we need more funding for these programmes.

“We continue to seek multi-year funding to enable us to continue providing this much-needed programme in our rural communities.”

REAP is gathering data for the rural areas surrounding Gisborne, so they can put a proposal together to the Government to service these communities.

“If you live in rural Gisborne and you need a licence, we want to hear from you. We need to gather data to show there is a need here so we can continue the programme for our rural communities.”

Growing Digital Skills – Tairawhiti

Wharekahika (Hicks Bay) is in the northern end of the Tairawhiti region. Tairawhiti REAP and 20/20 Communications Trust have come together to bring Computers in Homes to this remote part of the country. 12 community members completed the 20 hour programme at Wharekahika with a further 38 learners completing the programme throughout the region. We were fortunate to also gain funding for a further 50 learners – a collaboration between 20/20 Communications Trust, ECT, Hauora Tairawhiti and Tairawhiti REAP – to support single mums to get Computers in their homes.

“Whakakā te pito mata: Igniting the potential within, and being responsive and relevant to rural communities.”