4 Sep 2016

NZ First calls for NCEA drivers licence plan

4:43 pm on 4 September 2016

New Zealand First has announced it would make learning to drive a core secondary school subject, saying it would help reduce crime.

Winston Peters said the first offence for about 60 percent of young Māori who commit crime was driving without a licence.

Winston Peters said the first offence for about 60 percent of young Māori who commit crime was driving without a licence. Photo: RNZ / Benedict Collins

Leader Winston Peters delivered his keynote speech at the party's annual conference in Dunedin tonight, where he unveiled the new school driving policy.

Mr Peters said driving without a licence was the first offence for about 60 percent of Māori who commit crime was and he said that was because they lacked the learning skills to pass the written tests.

He said if this could be stopped, and students gained their driving qualifications at school, many more young people would be given a chance to be part of the economy.

Mr Peters said it would also incentivise students to study in other subjects.

"Well if you want to get a young Māori and give him a reason why he should learn English - here's one, if you learn enough of this you can get a licence.

"Now for many people whose pathway is not academia they need to know why I should bother to learn this subject, and the answer is staring you in the face, because if you don't you'll never be able to legally drive on our roads and become mobile in the workforce," Mr Peters said.

Mr Peters said the learning to drive course could be delivered over several years.

Youth wing shows NZ First has succession plan

The deputy leader of New Zealand First said the emergence of a youth wing showed the party was actively working on a succession plan.

In his caucus report today Ron Mark told delegates the youth wing has given the party a capability it never had before.

"We are seeing in the emergence of not just the young New Zealand First electorate team, who are not just one little electorate blob sitting across the nation, but who have permeated down into electorate committees and bought strength and vitality and new information and technology and new skills to those electorate teams."

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