The Government is bringing in $86.5 million in funding and support to make it easier for people to get their driver's licence, as part of this year's Budget.
Social Development and Transport Ministers Carmel Sepuloni and Michael Wood this morning announced the moves were expected to expand access to driver's licences for 64,000 New Zealanders.
The $86.5m spent over four years would improve access to testing by partnering with communities, increasing training and the number of driver testing officers, and similar support.
Sepuloni said having a driving licence was a key requirement for up to 70 per cent of jobs, but a big portion of the community could not access tests or training because of costs and other barriers.
"This disproportionally disadvantages Māori, Pacific peoples, sole parents and rural communities," she said.
Wood said the initiative would help reduce debts from fines for not having a licence and the related risk of getting a criminal record and would help stabilise and expand access to driver licence support.
"Community partners play a key role in supporting people to achieve their licence, that's why we are committed to building community providers' capability and capacity to help them provide quality driving training," he said.
"Removing the barriers to driver licence training not only helps to prevent fines, court and the risk of criminal penalties but may also save lives and reduce the devastating impact a serious crash can have on communities."