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ACC and the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) are leading a programme to get more young people progressing through the driver licensing system.

The challenge 

Throughout New Zealand, drivers aged 16 to 24 without a valid driver's licence are more likely to have a serious crash than licensed drivers. Learner drivers in South Auckland are at an even higher risk of having an accident, yet it is fairly common for young people in this community to drive a car without the right licence. ACC and NZTA engaged innovate change and Curative to lead the development and implementation of a community-based social marketing programme in Māngere.

What did we do? 

In 2015, we used the questioning, understanding, designing and refining phases of our innovative action model. We worked closely with the Māngere community to design a relevant and effective social marketing programme that encourages positive behaviour change through providing education and knowledge of the licensing system to enable more young people to drive with the correct licence. A crucial part of this work was developing a stronger understanding of our target audiences to ensure the strategies and activities designed were relevant for them.

In 2016, we tried and reviewed the social marketing programme with our friends at Curative and the 'Co-Papas', a group of Māngere community members dedicated to this project. Check out the Behind the Wheel website and Facebook page to find out about current activities. You can also watch a short video from the Behind the Wheel Pit Stop Challenge here, captured by Curative.

We created 

Insights on Young Drivers in Māngere.

A short, low-fidelity video of some of the insight gatherers.

A social marketing plan focused on family leaders modelling driving with the right licence and encouraging their young people to get licensed.


Our impact 

The Māngere community has embraced this programme, and as a result we expect that young people and their families who live in Māngere will be safer on the roads. The programme is beginning to shift the norm around unlicensed driving and result in more young Māngere people progressing through the graduated driver licensing system.

Evaluation results are showing early attitudinal and behavioural changes, with Behind the Wheel Pledge participants demonstrating a clearer understanding of driver licensing, as well as increased commitment and motivation among 'Rookies' to get a licence, and support and modelling by 'Coaches' to drive safely and within the licence conditions.

"I like the safe environment to share ideas, innovate change always do this well."


"Well done on delivering a great co-design [process]. You put an effective group of people around the table and ran two very slick sessions. Impressive.”

Community Leader

"[I'm proud of] what we’ve accomplished from scratch and how many people now have their licence."

Behind the Wheel co-designer

 "[Your] design approach of taking community champions, training them up and using them has been very good and what I wanted to see happening... it's helped not just to get the momentum going but to get that real sense that we've got really valid solutions that are grounded in what the local community are actually interested in."

Project partner