Rural Drivers Licensing Scheme

Free support, tuition and subsidised driving tests are provided through Rural Drivers Licensing Scheme to assist rural-based migrant women to learn to drive.

The Mid Canterbury Rural Driver Licensing Scheme is a partnership between the Mid Canterbury Rural Support Trust and Safer Ashburton.

Isolation can be a significant problem for rural women who do not have a driver’s licence. Often newcomers and migrant women do not have the family and social networks available for them to learn to drive and this programme helps to provide that support.

The benefits to participants are safe and confident new drivers, increased participation in the community, self-sufficiency and independence. It can also open up opportunities for employment.

The programme offers free support and tuition; a subsidised driving test; classroom-based study up to learner’s licence; regular supervised one-on-one driving practice, including two professional lessons; and access to a support network.

There are two intakes of 12 women each year, who on achieving their learner’s licence will then work towards their restricted licence under the guidance of our volunteer driving mentors.

What the participants are saying

“At this programme, I’ve learned a lot and they provide us with every tool that we need. We also get the support to pass the test and gain new friends along the way. I’m in town once a week, which is new for me. We are so lucky to be part of this lovely programme.” Randell, Philippines.

“A million thanks for introducing the programme to me! I hope you will be able to help more women out there, empowering them to take their first step.” Ludy, Philippines.

“Getting a licence in New Zealand would open up so many doors for me. Meeting new people and joining a group or two would be wonderful. Best of all, it would enable me to pop in and see my grandchildren anytime!” Avril, South Africa.

Become a volunteer

The Rural Driver Licensing Scheme is always on the lookout for more volunteer driving mentors to supervise our learner drivers. We also need volunteer child minders to look after the children while their mothers are in class. It’s a great way to meet people from a different culture and make a huge difference to the lives of newcomers in our district.

To download a volunteer form, or to apply for the Rural Driver Licensing Scheme, head to our Resources page.

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