Taxi drivers, area knowledge certificates and language requirements

As a taxi driver, you are required to hold a current passenger (P) endorsement on your driver licence, and hold and display a current photo driver identification card.

Unless an exception applies, a taxi driver seeking to work in certain defined areas must hold an area knowledge certificate for the area or areas in which the approved taxi organisation, for which they work, operates.

This factsheet tells you all you need to know about getting an area knowledge certificate and English language requirements.

What is an area knowledge certificate?

An area knowledge certificate shows you have passed a knowledge test relating to the area or areas your taxi company operates in. It also shows that you have demonstrated an ability to communicate in English.

Which areas require an area knowledge certificate?

Taxi drivers operating in these areas require an area knowledge certificate:

    Auckland metropolitan (includes North Shore, Waitakere, Auckland, Manukau and Papakura cities)
•    Blenheim
•    Christchurch metropolitan
•    Dunedin
•    Gisborne
•    Hamilton
•    Hastings
•    Invercargill
•    Kapiti
•    Levin
•    Masterton
•    Napier
•    Nelson
•    New Plymouth
•    Palmerston North
•    Pukekohe
•    Queenstown
•    Rotorua
•    Taupo
•    Tauranga
•    Timaru
•    Whanganui
•    Wellington metropolitan (Wellington, Lower Hutt, Upper Hutt, Porirua)

Drivers working in Auckland and Wellington

If you work in the Wellington or Auckland metropolitan areas you must hold all the area knowledge certificates for the entire metropolitan area.

If you have been working as a taxi driver before 1 October 2007, and can show that you have held an area knowledge certificate for the Auckland or Wellington areas for a year or more before that date, you will be considered to hold all the area knowledge certificates for that area.

If you have worked as a taxi driver in the Wellington or Auckland area for less than 12 months before 1 October 2007, you will need to obtain the remaining area knowledge certificates by completing the new combined test for that area.

All drivers

If the area you are operating in is in the list you must not accept a hire in that area if you don't hold an area knowledge certificate for that area.

If the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has reason to believe you don't have adequate knowledge of the area in which you are operating, you can be required to re-sit and pass the area knowledge certificate for that area.

If you're new to the industry, you have to pass the area knowledge certificate test before you can drive a taxi in one of the listed areas.

If the area in which you operate is not in the list you don't need an area knowledge certificate. However, you are still legally required to have adequate knowledge of the area in which you seek to work. The taxi company that you work for is required to ensure your knowledge of the area is at a satisfactory standard.

How you can prove you've got an area knowledge certificate for your area

You can prove you've got an area knowledge certificate by:

  • showing the certificate to the taxi company you wish to work for
  • having the taxi company that employs you record that you hold the right area knowledge certificate(s)
  • retaining the area knowledge certificate given to you by the test provider with your business records.

How do I get an area knowledge certificate?

fill application form in our make a booking page and our NZTA approved assessor will guid you through the course

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Which test or tests do I need to sit?

If you want to be a taxi driver in Auckland or Wellington, you need to sit the combined test for the area. If you want to be a taxi driver in any other area of New Zealand, you need to sit the test for the particular area.

Identification you must have

When you sit the area knowledge test, you must show photo ID to the person testing you. The identification could be a current New Zealand photo driver licence or a current passport.

Sitting the test

The area knowledge test consists of eight components called objectives. You must meet the standard for each objective to receive the area knowledge certificate. You will be given four hours in which to complete each test. To confirm your understanding of the test requirements for each objective the provider will give you the written instructions for each objective and will ask you to read the instructions and relay these back to the examiner. If you fail to meet the standard in one or more objectives on your first attempt you can resit those particular objectives at a later date.

Enrolling to sit the test, or partially completing the test does not allow you to work as a taxi driver in a listed area; you must achieve the certificate before you start working in any of the areas listed.

Objectives

When you sit the test, the provider will give you the test questions to answer. Test providers will not give you the actual test questions to study therefore you will need to do some extensive study prior to sitting the test.

The test provider will then test you on all the following objectives. You can use this information to study the test.

An approved area knowledge test provider will test you on all of the following things.

Objective 1

This objective tests your ability to communicate in English. It is not tested separately but in conjunction with the other seven objectives.

To meet the standard required you will be asked to:

Objective 2

To meet the standard required you must describe the most advantageous route between each pair of pick-up and destination points given to you from a list containing 20 pairs of pick-up and associated destination points and provide the names and locations of major landmarks along each route.

The performance standard is 18 out of 20 routes, with associated major landmarks, stated correctly in spoken English that is clearly understood by the examiner.

Objective 3

To meet the standard required you must write, from memory, the street address (street and number) or location of major buildings and major locations of interest from a list of 25 given to you by the examiner.

The performance standard is 23 out of 25 addresses or locations of the major buildings and landmarks written correctly in English that is clearly understood by the examiner.

Examples of the types of major buildings and locations that can be considered landmarks are:

Locations A to Z

Airports

Night clubs

Ambulance stations

Parks and reserves

Arcades

Police stations

Armed services establishments

Post offices

Banks

Prominent places

Bus services and terminals

Public amenities

Cafes and restaurants

Railway stations

Casinos

Recreation facilities

Chartered clubs

Rental vehicle depots

Churches and places of worship

Restaurants

Civic buildings and amenities

Service stations

Community halls

Schools

Council and borough offices

Shopping centres and malls

Emergency departments

Sporting venues/facilities

Ferry terminals

Swimming pools

Fire stations

T.A.B.

Funeral directors

Taverns

Government buildings

Theatres

Hospitals

Train services and terminals

Hotels and motels

Universities

Insurance offices

Urgent pharmacies

Libraries

Veterinary clinic

Liquor outlets

Vineyards

Major city/town buildings

Wharves (commercial)

Medical centres

Wine bars

Objective 4

To meet the standard required you must write from memory the start and finish of arterial roads in the area, arterial roads being state highways, motorways, main roads and roads commonly accepted as arterial roads, where the start of the road is at the lowest street number and the finish is at the highest street number on the road.

The performance standard is 18 out of 20 start and finish points listed correctly in written English that is clearly understood by the examiner.

Objective 5

To meet the standard required, with reference to a current road map of the area, you must record, in writing, the location of each given road using the map page number (where applicable) and grid reference; and the road features for each given road within the grid reference.

Objective 6

To meet the standard required and using a current road map of the area, and a list of five road names including suburbs you are required to state orally the approximate direction of travel by reference to compass points, when travelling from the central location to the given name.

The performance standard is four out of five directions of travel correctly identified in spoken English that is understood by the examiner.

Objective 7

To meet the standard required, using a current road map and a list of five pairs of pick up and destination points. You will be required to trace, with a pointer or your finger, the most advantageous route between each pair of pick up and destination points. You will also need to provide the names and locations of major landmarks along each route.

The performance standard is completion without error.

Objective 8

You will be given a written list containing the names of up to 20 public taxi stands in the area. To meet the standard required you must describe, from memory, the location of each taxi stand and locate these on a road map by pointing to them.

The performance standard is completion without error.

Questions and answers

What if my taxi company changes its operating area?

You'll need to get an area knowledge certificate for the new area before you can work there.

What if I change taxi companies and work for one with a different operating area?

You'll need to get an area knowledge certificate for the area or areas where your new taxi company operates.

What if I change taxi companies and work for one with the same operating area?

You won't need a new area knowledge certificate, but your new taxi company may ask you to sit its own test to make sure that you know the area.

English language requirements

All taxi drivers are required to have the ability to communicate to passengers and others in English.

While the area knowledge certificate tests taxi drivers' English skills, the NZTA can request additional English language testing if there are reasonable grounds to suggest that a driver isn't able to communicate adequately with passengers. This applies whether or not an area knowledge certificate is required.

P endorsement

You are reminded that as a taxi driver, you are required to hold a current passenger (P) endorsement on your driver licence and hold and display a current photo driver identification card.

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