Since Dannevirke's last taxi service went off the road in December 2009, the town has been without a service.

But now, Wiremu Cooper, with 30 years' experience as a taxi operator in Auckland, is on the road operating in Dannevirke.

"I've been in Dannevirke for three years and after 30 years driving a taxi in Auckland I knew the place pretty well and I've been taught by the best," he said.

"But there's definitely a need for a taxi service here. I know there is a community vehicle operating, but people tell me it's a bit limited."


While Dannevirke St John's health shuttle is available for medical visits, locally or to and from Palmerston North Hospital and, at times to Wellington Hospital, and the community vehicle runs Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 9.30am until 4.30pm, Mr Cooper said the demand is still there for his service.

The late Hal Schmidt and his wife Christine began a taxi service in Dannevirke in 2005, but decided to close it down in December 2009 because their other businesses had suffered.

At the time Mr Schmidt told the Dannevirke News he'd just got sick to death of being on call all hours of the day and night and working into the wee small hours of the morning.

Prior to the Schmidt's starting their service a woman had been researching the legalities and costs of starting up a service here. Unfortunately that service didn't eventuate.

Before that Murray Te Huki had operated a taxi in Dannevirke, with two vans, a full time driver and himself.

Now Land Transport has relaxed some of the rules around taxi services, Mr Cooper said it's easier to operate in little towns like Dannevirke.

"I'm driving a Toyota Estima which can carry up to seven people and the seats can be lowered to load in disabled people," he said.

Mr Cooper's service will operate on a fixed price basis, given at the time people call and he has the required photo identification and appropriate transport licenses.

"My wife and I have found Dannevirke to be a really good place to live," he said.

"Houses are cheaper and we sold a property in Auckland for $600,000 and could have purchased 10 houses here in Dannevirke. We couldn't believe the price we paid for our house here. It would have been close to $1 million in Auckland."

Mr Cooper said he and his wife and very happy with their well-maintained and reasonably priced unit they purchased here.

"We were quite shocked by such a low price," he said.