INDEPENDENT NEWS

Driving Change Gains Momentum

Published: Thu 11 Nov 2021 05:18 PM
The Waikato’s community leadership foundation has a new role providing an administrative ‘backbone’ for the national network of organisations improving access to driver training.
Momentum Waikato has stepped into a key role in the ‘constellation’ governance model of the Driving Change Network, a diverse group of more than two hundred community, industry, Iwi, Maaori, funding and philanthropic groups that came together in 2019 to coordinate support and advocacy for access to driver education, training and licensing across Aotearoa-New Zealand.
Driving Change is led by a ‘lightweight’ Steering Group and its employed National Coordinator and is made up of working groups drawn from its various member bodies. Momentum is now the neutral ‘backbone’ organisation providing this constellation with its accountability, administration and employment services.
“Driver training should be accessible to anyone who wants to gain a drivers licence,” says Wendy Robertson, Driving Change National Coordinator.
“We’re committed to ensuring New Zealand’s driver licensing system helps, rather than hinders, the journey to work and education.
“Our constellation governance model recognises the reality of pulling together a diverse range of long-established proudly independent organisations into a coherent service and advocacy collective.
“The admin role within it calls for a ‘disinterested’ non-profit organisation, ideally with an agile business-minded outlook and capacity, backed up by serious financial and professional staff resources.
“Momentum Waikato completely fits the bill, so we’re very happy to be working with Kelvyn and the team on their first national-level project,” says Wendy.
For Momentum Waikato Chief Executive Kelvyn Eglinton, providing an admin umbrella for Driving Change fits both the foundation’s purpose and strategy.
“One of our community support priorities, as re-confirmed by our Waikato Vital Signs community engagement project last year, is ‘youth pathways’. We see removing the barriers our young people face as they enter adulthood as critical to our region’s, and nation’s, continuing economic and social development and prosperity.
“Driving Change exists to improve young people’s access to driver training and licensing, which is an essential springboard to employment, education and training, especially in rural areas and smaller centres.
“It is an equity issue. Petty driving fines start many rangatahi on the journey that ultimately takes them through the courts and on to jail – Maaori and Pasifika are over-represented in the criminal justice system simply because they get caught more often driving without a licence. We have to stop this conveyor belt,” says Kelvyn.
“At the same time, providing the services that Driving Change are after, and being able to respond quickly and nimbly as they pursue their rapid development plans going forward, are exactly what we’re set up to do. It’s a natural fit on lots of levels.
“We’re looking forward to the Momentum-Driving Change alliance making a real difference in young people’s lives,” says Kelvyn.

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