Timatanga Hou

Up to 24 week programme – (Free Service)

*Only Available in Christchurch & Ashburton

Welcome to the Timatanga Hou Former Refugee Driver Training Programme!                                       

Our mission is to empower former refugees through comprehensive driver education, enabling them to achieve their driving goals and enhance their overall quality of life.

The programme is completely free and designed to assist learners in obtaining their restricted or full driver’s licence, fostering greater independence, confidence, and success.


  • Please note that this programme is exclusively available for former refugees possessing official documentation issued by Immigration New Zealand, confirming your former refugee status.
  • Minimum 30 hours of driving experience in the last 12 months on New Zealand roads (we will assess your driving experience in the interview, so please only apply if you have the experience).
  • Attend an interview, induction* and an initial assessment to ensure that you are suitable for the programme.
  • Must be committed to participate in twice-weekly scheduled drives for up to 24 weeks. 
  • A current New Zealand Learners Licence (held for a minimum of 4 months), or Restricted Licence, or Restricted Licence with supervisory conditions. 
  • English Level to be conversational. Otherwise, a translator will be required.
  • To understand the length of the programme, it is to enable you to obtain the necessary experience on New Zealand roads to be a safe, responsible driver with good road citizenship, and skilled to successfully pass the practical tests.

Our commitment to you:

  • Our dedicated programme coordinators and experienced driving instructors offer guidance to each learner.
  • Skilled volunteer mentor drivers conduct supervised practice sessions twice weekly, providing valuable feedback to ensure learner success.
  • Learners and mentors have access to dual-control vehicles for practice sessions, ensuring a safe and controlled learning environment.
  • Ongoing training from a qualified driving instructor is provided to all mentors throughout the programme.

Driving Test Fee is not included: While the driving test fee is not included, we understand you may be experiencing financial challenges. Please feel free to discuss any financial concerns with our coordinator for personalised assistance.

“Thank you so much for help and endless support in getting my licence. With your guidance and patience, you taught me the skills to become a safe driver. Thank you for giving me the confidence to drive and for helping me to overcome my nervousness. My husband was scared for our car and that is why I was so happy when I could use yours. I am very very grateful for the programme. Now I don’t have to walk in the rain with my baby daughter anymore or wait till late for my husband to pick me up from work. It was so stressful, but not anymore. Thank you.”  

Tithma – Graduate Timatanga Hou for former refugees
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