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Volunteers needed for young driver initiative
9 October 2017
Volunteers needed for young driver initiative
You can help a local young person get their full licence by volunteering two hours each week as an Adult Navigator.
Rotorua’s Blue Light Driver Navigator programme needs experienced adult drivers to volunteer for a new initiative which aims to help young people get their full licence.
The programme is a joint venture between Rotorua Lakes Council, NZ Police, Blue Light New Zealand and local community members which seeks to support young drivers aged 16 –24 years to move through the Graduated Licencing System (GLS) from learners to a full licence.
The programme, which relies on the help of local volunteers, is especially designed for young people who may not have access to the right support, financial means or a safe vehicle.
Blue Light has received funding to operate across the region with drivers already going through the programme in Tauranga and Whakatane.
Senior police Constable Viv Sutton says a driver licence is a taonga, something that should be treasured.
“Having a full licence means that young people will have better chances for the future. They will avoid the legal issues that stem from driving without the appropriate licence and it also means they will have access to better employment options,” she says.
“From experience, young people don’t progress from their learner’s to a full licence for a number of reasons. We often see people getting into trouble with fines, which starts a flow-on effect – they find it hard to turn around and do the right thing.
“They may also be worried about failing the testing part of the process which causes a lot of stress for some people,” Senior Constable Sutton says.
“This initiative gives us the opportunity to provide support that they might not receive at home. A positive relationship with the Adult Navigators who volunteer their time can empower the young people beyond gaining a licence.”
Adult Navigators are asked to volunteer two hours a week to coach young drivers through the basics.
Vehicles are provided and volunteers undergo some  training to  iron out any bad habits that may be passed on.
Blue Light also has  funding to provide professional lessons which may follow once a young person feels more confident to provide some final practise before the test.
Adult Navigator volunteer and Rotorua Lakes Council partnership advisor Rob Griffiths says he wanted to help because having a full licence enables young people to become independent.
“Needing a driver’s licence is an unseen barrier for employment, independence and freedom. It is almost another mechanism to divide the haves and the have nots.
“If I can help reduce those barriers for some young people then that’s great.”
An information evening will be held on Tuesday 10 October for those who are interested in volunteering as an Adult Navigator.
Click here to read the Blue Light programme brochure
Click here to check eligibility and print the application form
DATE: Tuesday October 10th 2017
TIME: 6:00pm-8:30pm
LOCATION: Rotorua Lakes Council – committee room 1, first floor
For more information contact:
Reade Nikora
Safer Journeys Coordinator
Viv Sutton
Senior Constable