A Hastings woman may be the only female Indian warrant of fitness inspector in New Zealand.

Rajwant Kaur, who is a mechanic at A1 Auto Works alongside her husband Kanwaljit Singh Haer, became a certified WOF tester in April.

Mrs Kaur said she was told by her instructor that she was the only female Indian warrant tester in the country and possibly the world.

She also believes that she may be one of the only female Indian mechanics (who can do full repairs) in New Zealand and would be one of only a small number around the world.


The mechanic had to undertake a theory and practical test to become a WOF tester and was "shocked" to have found out she passed because it was so difficult.

She began in the industry 6.5 years ago by helping out her husband who had just opened his own workshop.

"I started knowing nothing about cars and didn't really have an interest ... now I can do everything," she said.

Mr Haer said his wife first helped him in the office but he then started asking if she could pass him different tools and it developed from there.

"It's a big help for me actually, sometimes I have to leave the workshop and she can manage it ... and mechanical repairs she's able to do on her own."

The WOF tester said there were not many women in general in the industry but would encourage more to get involved.

"It's a male dominated industry, maybe women don't like getting their hands dirty," Mrs Kaur said.

"But women can do everything if they want."

Her whole family is very proud of her and hope this will inspire other women, her husband said.

"She's very particular. It's a very responsible trade, you have a responsibility to put a good vehicle back on the road," Mr Haer said.

"I think women have more of an eye for detail than men ... we could do with more women in the industry."

The couple moved with their two children to New Zealand from Punjab 14 years ago, spending a few months in Auckland before coming to Hastings in search of work.

Mr Haer said it was a tough decision to move away from India but they wanted a better life for their family and definitely found it in Hawke's Bay.

"Hawke's Bay is a very good place to raise children and live in. People are friendly, open and helpful."