New te reo licensing campaign aimed at Auckland Youth

By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

To coincide with Māori Language Week, Auckland Transport (AT) has launched new videos in bilingual to encourage Māori youth to get their driver’s license. 

Although Mahaani Maiava is 19 years old, he hasn't got his driver’s licence yet.  However, he's keen to jump on this new reo Māori campaign.  The descendent from Samoa and the tribe of Ngā Puhi says, “It's really good to see the Māori language video on Facebook.  It's awesome to see youth being encouraged to speak the language about getting your driver’s license.”

Get Licenced, Get Legit is the name of the campaign, AT says having a driver's licence is "truly transformational" for young Māori.

Mahaani Maiava says, “We must learn and get our license, to make life easier.  I was just lazy.  But through this campaign, I already know I should get it, and get a better job.”

AT says, having a restricted or full driver's licence has been linked to reducing the chance of being involved in a crash.

AT Driving Instructor Hōhepa Peita says, “A lack of understanding, not knowing at all, and all the family may not have a license.  From having a license, they're legally able to drive, and they won't be afraid to be on the road, and, our people stay alive.”

Māori have one of the highest rates of road deaths in the Auckland region, and this is particularly high amongst 16 to 24-year-olds.

“This is an important issue. It's imperative for youth to take heed, and know what they're doing on the road,” says Maiava.

AT are looking to run free license classes on marae and Māori Secondary Schools in Auckland, from next week onwards.