New Zealand needs more Better Blokes

Driver’s licence testers are being bashed, threatened, and even held captive by people they’ve failed – and some are fed up with the abuse.

Documents obtained under the Official Information Act show testers reported physical and verbal abuse at record levels last year, with some expressing serious concerns about their safety.

Some testers refused to get in a car with certain applicants unless a police officer was present.

Last year, at least two testers were punched in the head, and others were stalked, publicly abused, and even prevented from leaving their workplace by failed applicants.

In the Christchurch suburb of Shirley, a failed applicant “abducted” the tester who failed him.

The “abusive and ranting” driver “wouldn’t stop” driving around the suburb with the tester trapped in the van.

In his report, the tester said he escaped when the van stopped at a traffic light two kilometres from the station.

He said his abductor was known to be abusive, and had caused trouble at the testing station before.

Christchurch police did not say if the man was charged over the incident.

The NZDL acknowledged the increase in abuse complaints, and said it introduced training for its officers to help defuse tense situations.

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