For young New Zealanders a driver licence is more than just a licence to get on the road. It’s a licence to get a job and to participate fully in society.
However, at present up to 90,000 young people face barriers to getting a licence. They often have no legal driver to teach them, and no legal car to practice in. If they drive anyway, they risk being caught up in the criminal justice system.
Now the Driving Change Network, a collaborative project funded by the Todd Foundation, the Vodafone New Zealand Foundation and the J R McKenzie Trust Foundation – is looking at the changes needed to remove those barriers.
All three funders had noticed an increase in the number of organisations seeking support for local licensing programmes and realised that this trend reflected a nation-wide problem around access to driver licensing. While individual driver licensing programmes are very worthwhile, they tackle the symptoms of the problem rather than the causes.
In 2019, the three funders joined forces with Philanthropy New Zealand and the Mayors’ Taskforce for Jobs to establish the Driving Change Network. Together, our goal is to work alongside the community to get a clearer idea of what the systemic barriers to getting a licence are, and to advocate for the changes needed to remove them.
For the Todd Foundation, working collaboratively with other organisations on this project makes sense. We can’t bring about the kinds of changes needed by working on our own, but we can help support change if we work collectively.
A website is coming soon for the project, for more information or to ask about joining email firstname.lastname@example.org