'Shameful' Auckland taxi school lets students cheat

'Shameful' Auckland taxi school lets students cheat

Hundreds of taxi drivers on our roads may have cheated to get their licence.

A Newshub investigation has uncovered evidence of a major licensing scam being run in south Auckland.

The training school Newshub has been looking into is called the Super City Taxi Training School, which operates from a building in Otahuhu.

The company is an NZTA-approved testing provider, but we've discovered some serious irregularities with the way it operates.

By law, taxi drivers need to pass a passenger, or "P", endorsement test and an area knowledge test, plus medical and criminal checks.

But it's not terribly hard to pass if you sit tests at this particular school. We've got evidence students are simply given the answers to copy, although one of those running the school denies he's done anything wrong.

An actor from Newshub headed to the Super City Taxi Training school in suburban south Auckland to sit his P endorsement test. He knows nothing about taxis.

It's a busy scene inside, and 20 minutes into the exam, he discovers why. He's handed what he says is the test answer sheet.

"So all the answers were given," says actor Sunny Sehgal. "Even a 10-year-old school kid could do it.

"To be honest it's a shameful act what these guys are doing. I feel very embarrassed that I have to come across this type of scenario."

Mr Sehgal says the examiner even made efforts to cover up the cheating.

"That's what she was saying again and again after every 10 minutes: 'Make sure guys you write four or five answers incorrect as well. Don't just copy everything.'"

A week later, he collects his NZTA-approved certificate.

"People's lives are at risk and I think NZTA or whichever department is involved should look into this very, very seriously," says Mr Sehgal.

The cost was $400 cash. No receipt was given.

"I asked for the receipt and she said if I need a receipt then I have to pay them extra money for GST."

He returns to complete an Area Knowledge Test, handing over another $400, again no receipt.

A short time later, the answers are handed out. In red were suggestions of which questions he should get wrong.

One question asks for the location of the Titirangi Golf Club. The answer - 11 Links Rd - is supplied in the answer sheet above and then copied directly into the questionnaire.

"Answer to every single question - all I have to do is look here, copy from there and copy from here, and I have no idea what I have done inside," says Mr Sehgal.

During the test, Ranjit Singh, whose wife is the company's director, enters the room to instruct another student. Eventually, that student is also given the answers.

We asked Mr Singh if he and his staff had been helping students cheat. He didn't want to talk.

First Union says NZTA has failed to properly monitor one of its own contractors.

"I would expect they would get shut down and that the operators doing this are held accountable to a high regard," says First Union's transport and logistics secretary Jarod Abbott.

Having passed both tests, all our actor would have had to do to become a certified taxi driver is pass a background check.