News centre

Changes to the Refugee Drivers Licence Programme

Since 2015, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has funded a national refugee driver training service that assists refugees who have completed their learner licence to gain a restricted driver’s licence, enabling refugees gain employment and support their families and community.

26 May 2023
2 minute read

As part of Budget 2022, the Government announced additional funding to support 64,000 more people to obtain drivers’ licenses through Increasing funding for driver licence support and remove barriers for people who have trouble obtaining driver licences.  This funding is in addition to what Immigration New Zealand receives to support refugee driver training.

As a result of this additional funding, we are changing the way that driver training services are funded for refugees. Funding for the current services will be ending on 30 June 2023. The Ministry of Social Development (MSD) are currently procuring driver training services across the country, and support for refugee driving services are in the scope of those services.

Once these new driver training services are established, we will take the opportunity to complete a thorough stocktake and analysis of driver training services across all refugee resettlement regions and identify any gaps or opportunities to enhance the MSD contracted services.

We will retain the current level of funding and will look to procure additional services, with a focus on ensuring that refugees across all resettlement locations are able to have equitable access to driver training.

This cross-government approach will provide refugees with better access to driver training, improve employment opportunities and community participation, and the confidence and skills to drive safely.