When Partners Porirua joined forces with their sponsors, Caltex, the NZTA and the AA, they may not have expected the added benefits that would arise out of the Community Driver Mentor Programme.
The joint vision was to connect fifteen teenagers who would otherwise not have the opportunity to learn to drive, either because there is no car in their family or because there is no adult to teach them, with fifteen community 'mentors'.
The initiative hasn't just put more young drivers on our roads. It's put better young drivers onto our roads. Because of the value that the experienced mentors bring to the party, and the enthusiasm and diligence contributed by the students, the pass rate was 85% when compared with the national average of 50%.
The success was considered sufficiently important to the nation for Porirua students and their mentors to feature in a segment on TV 1 at 6.00 p.m., with the news that the initiative has been so successful in Porirua that it is now being rolled out in Northland, Auckland, the East Coast and Christchurch.