Cross Agency collaboration to improve access to driver licences

More than one million people over 16 years who live in Aotearoa New Zealand currently do not have a full driver licence and nearly half of them have no licence at all. Disadvantaged and vulnerable communities, including Māori and those in rural areas, are disproportionately represented in these numbers, as well as in road crash deaths, serious injuries and licence infringements.

A driver licence is more than just a permit to drive a vehicle. It allows access to a range of social and economic benefits. Those lacking a licence may find it harder to find a job, access education and training, and participate in other aspects of society. Driving without a licence puts drivers and others at higher risk of death or serious injury and can incur driving infringements which can lead to more serious interactions with the justice system.

Rationale worked with the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) as part of The Driver Licensing Improvement Programme (DLIP). This was set up to strategically address the problem of inequitable access to driver licences and support the investigation of how a programme of work could be developed that helped to make impactful change. A key part of this process was leveraging cross-agency collaboration.

Rationale worked closely with NZTA, agency partners and stakeholders to understand the barriers and challenges being faced and the benefits that could be expected if these problems were addressed.

This involved bringing together a number of workstreams and initiatives, packaging them into cohesive options and then evaluating options against a range of key metrics to identify a preferred way forward.

As the programme progressed, Rationale led the development of a Programme Business Case and a Detailed Business Case. As part of the support for NZTA, Rationale helped set up and initially co-chaired a multi-agency working group, which ensured all agencies were across the work being done and could align activities.

DLIP has set up a long-term programme of work that will see a range of improvements to driver licences over the coming years. These have included:

  • More driver testing officers
  • More driver test routes
  • More mobile theory testing
  • Better regional support:
  • Community trials in Tairāwhiti (Gisborne), the Far North and Ōpōtiki

DLIP has set a new standard for cross-agency collaboration, seeing relationships built between agencies that have been enduring outside of the programme. The development of the cross-agency collaboration alongside an evidence-based business case has led to a high level of support from decision makers.

Find out more here - New Zealand Driver Licensing Improvement Programme

Improving the driver licensing system -

Improvements to the driver licensing system change lives -