Hundreds lose drivers licences after bribery claims

Suspicions were raised when Indian licences increased by 11 times in two years.
Suspicions were raised when Indian licences increased by 11 times in two years. Photo credit: File

An investigation into corrupt New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) testing officers has resulted in hundreds of drivers having their licences cancelled or re-doing tests, a report has revealed.

Three men face charges and as many as 350 drivers are being forced to complete another test or have had their licenses rescinded, according to details uncovered through an Official Information Act request filed by Radio New Zealand (RNZ).

Falsified documents had been used to obtain the licences, an NZTA and police probe found, including sham course certificates and overseas licences.

Among the other allegations is a claim from a member of the public that testing officers would accept between $500 and $600 to park up for the entirety of each test, and then just pass the driver when the testing time had gone by.

For $3000, another public complaint claimed, you could bribe a testing officer into giving you a heavy vehicle licence.

A briefing note to former Minister of Transport Simon Bridges in 2016 shows there has long been concern about the increasing use of Indian licences to obtain licences in New Zealand.

Suspicions were raised when Indian licences increased by 11 times in two years between 2013 to 2015, RNZ reports, rising from 70 to 772.

NZTA told RNZ the licence application increase using Indian drivers licences was greater than expected, even when taking into account employment and immigration trends.

The three men facing charges have been removed from their positions at the NZTA, according to the report.

Newshub.