Tauranga is set to be the fourth city in New Zealand where ride-sharing company Uber is available.

Uber plans to bring its service to Tauranga "as soon as possible" and has started its driver-partner sign-up campaign, which is the next step in bringing the service to the city.

This follows the deployment of cars in June to map out routes in the city.

Uber's general manager for New Zealand, Richard Menzies, said the company had not yet confirmed the official launch date in Tauranga because it needed to make sure it had appointed enough drivers first.


However, the company wanted to be operating "as soon as possible" and expected to take the pressure off traffic congestion, particularly in summer when visitors flock to the city.

At present, Uber operates in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

"We expect our app will be very popular with riders in Tauranga, particularly over the summer period with the influx of domestic and international visitors," Mr Menzies said.

"We know tourism is booming in Tauranga, with visitor numbers up 26 per cent in 2017, and believe the flexible nature of ride sharing could help take pressure off existing transport options.

"Ultimately, though, we need to be confident enough locals from Tauranga want to drive on the Uber app and service the expected demand, and that's what this campaign is all about."

Uber has been advertising for driver partners since September.

To sign up, driver-partners need to obtain a P-endorsement from the Transport Authority (NZTA), which includes having criminal and driver history checks, being at least 21, having a valid full licence, and operating a four-door car no older than nine years.

Tauranga Mount Taxis operations manager Jacqui Coffey said her company could not do anything to stop Uber coming to Tauranga.

Drivers might be concerned about losing business, however.

"It is a worry for my drivers, but at the end of the day I'm not sure we're going to stop them," Ms Coffey said.

"We've got some plans in place," she said.

"We're hoping our customers stay loyal."

As long as Uber drivers abided by the law she had no concerns about their arrival.

"What we would have issues with is if they don't."