Topic: Transport

Offenders get legal on the roads

By Aroha Treacher

In the last 12 months, the New Zealand Howard League has helped 500 offenders and former inmates get their licence.

Statistics show that two-thirds of Māori offenders have a driving offence to their name as part of their initial jail sentence. It's a statistic the league want to turn around.

"If you don't have a driver's licence you can hardly do anything, it's difficult to get a bank account, we let people out of prison without having a birth certificate so often they come to us with nothing," says programme coordinator Jenny Michie.

 The league runs the programme in only three different parts of the country, Auckland, Whangarei and Hawke's Bay.

“There are no down-sides to this programme. We create safer, legal drivers, we help keep them out of jail and we make them employable; getting them off benefits and saving taxpayer money that could well be spent on better things” says Williams.