NZTA could shut down taxi training school after allegations of cheating

The NZ Transport Agency is launching an investigation into allegations an Auckland taxi licensing school is encouraging students to cheat. Photo/ file
The NZ Transport Agency is launching an investigation into allegations an Auckland taxi licensing school is encouraging students to cheat. Photo/ file

The NZ Transport Agency is launching an investigation following allegations that some Auckland taxi licensing schools are encouraging students to cheat.

Former Shortland Street actor Karl Burnett came forward following a Newshub investigation into the alleged cheating scandal to say he was given the answers to his P, or passenger, endorsement test at an NZTA provider in Auckland last year.

"He said right, 'Close your books', and we were thinking well, we're going to have to struggle to remember all this stuff.

"He then put the answers up on the projector screen. He said, 'Well, it's a closed-book exam and your books are closed', and then he waited for everyone to write down the answers before moving onto the next slide - every answer," Burnett said.He said he was not happy with the way he got his endorsement but went along with things because he had already paid $700 to sit the test.

Meanwhile, one training school in South Auckland could be shut down following the allegations thatprospective taxi drivers were being given answers in their exams.

The company was charging $400 for the tests.

An actor working with the investigative team to expose the alleged cheating scandal was able to get his Passenger Endorsement Certificate and his Area Knowledge Certificate by being openly provided answers.

The actor knew nothing about taxis, but the only hurdle to becoming a registered driver was passing a background check.

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

It is understood NZTA could revoke the company's licence within a matter of weeks.

NZTA operations manager Kate Styles said some matters might need to be referred to police.

- NZ Herald

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