Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Change in New Zealand Traffic Enforcement Strategy

(Robbins, 1991, p. 48)
The New Zealand Police have a new strategy in South Auckland. Maori who are stopped by Police, and are found to unlicenced drivers (or on restricted licences), are being referred to a panel for training. Superintendent Wally Haumaha of Police National Headquarters was interviewed, saying that the "panel looks at a whole range of issues that's caused that person to drive without a licence or why that person hasn't had a licence, and then provides some support" (TVNZ, 2015).

The driver then gets some training and support through their Iwi or community, but if the driver has not got their licence issues solved within two months, the $400 ticket is then issued.

I think that directing people to training and education with the support of their community, and finding and removing barriers is a GREAT idea. Much better than punishing people.

There's a very simple process, the management model. It has three steps: inputs - transformation - outputs. If the outputs are high offending (unlicenced drivers largely from one community sector), then we either need to change the inputs or the transformation. Fining them has been tried for fifty years, and obviously isn't working.

The police are changing the transformation (how they approach the issue). Then we change the inputs: we remove the barriers for that sector in gaining their licences.

However, I think the strategy should apply to all unlicenced drivers: while I appreciate that Maori and Pasifika people hesitate to approach government services, finding them intimidating, there are other sectors of the community who could also benefit from getting assistance to solve the problem... not create a second, additional problem of unpaid fines.

What do you think?


  • Robbins, Stephen P (1991). Management (Third Edition). USA: Prentice Hall
  • TVNZ (2015). Exclusive: Police told not to ticket unlicenced Maori drivers in South Auckland. Retrieved 17 June 2015 from
  • TVNZ (2015). Maori drivers dodge fines in South Auckland. Retrieved 17 June 2015 from

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