Driving success: one licence at a time

Te Atakura Huata-Harawira and Michelle Kingi are determined to help those who want to be legal on the road to get their driver’s licence.

The pair have been running their Flaxmere-based driving school, Get Your Licence, since 2014. As part of their kaupapa, several times a year they offer free driving lessons in Flaxmere, aimed at those who can’t afford to pay.

Their students cross the ages; from teens needing to get their leaners to nannies who have been on the road for decades, running their mokopuna to school without a licence.

Wanting to help comes from life experience for Te Atakura who, in her younger years, amassed thousands of dollars’ worth of fines from driving without a licence.

“It was such an awesome feeling to get my licence and then to finally pay off every last one of the fines. We want to help people, preferably before they get to that stage.”

Many of their clients are accomplished drivers but need help to understand what is required to pass the test, and to lift their confidence to take the test, says Te Atakura.

The pair have five weekends of free lessons in Flaxmere planned over the next 10 months, with the next on February 29 and March 1. But those wanting to take up the offer do need to turn up on the Friday evening before the lesson weekend to book (5.30pm to 6.30pm).

“We’ve tried all sorts of other ways, including on-line, but having people turn up to book has been the best way to ensure they make their free appointment over the weekend,” says Te Atakura.


“It also means we can help them sort out their paperwork before we do the lesson.”

Those wanting to get their learners have to present photo ID, while those wanting to move from their learners to their full license need to have their current driver’s licence and a car with current registration and warrant.

The lessons are taken in the client’s vehicle (or one belonging to a friend of family member). “That way they are learning to pass in a vehicle they are comfortable driving.”

For more information follow @getyourlicence on Facebook.

Inset: Want to help? Te Atakura and Michelle are always looking for volunteers to help with the free lessons. The more volunteers, the more people they can help. All you need is a current full driver’s licence and a desire to help. If you’re up for it, phone Te Atakura on: 022 5395462

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