Find a Senior Instructor

If you wish to undergo training to become an instructor, please contact a Senior Instructor in your area from the list below.

The Senior Instructor will be able to discuss your training needs and advise which programme best suits your needs.

We are currently not accepting applications for individuals to become Senior Instructors at this time. Please view the Questions and Answers page for more information about the process used to select the Senior Instructors.

If you have any questions about the deed or becoming a SAFED NZ Driver Instructor please contact us.

On this page:


John Essex
Advanced Vehicle Training
Ph: 0800 437 020
Mob: 027 242 7140  |

In my 46 years in the transport industry including 6 years as an owner driver, I have developed a genuine ‘passion’ for the industry and driver development. I have been a Driver Training Specialist for over 20 years working for other major driver training and transport companies. In my current role as a training manager for Advanced Vehicle Training (AVT), I conduct training for numerous transport & logistics companies nationwide delivering training on a number of practical and theory based training and driver development courses for drivers in most transport sectors including fuel & gas, logging, linehaul, Sidelifter, metro drivers etc. and, Train The Trainer courses.

Over the years I have developed and run many training courses, however, the SAFED NZ course stands out to be one of the most rewarding. Since starting with the course in 2010 I have found that drivers and trainers who have completed the course come away feeling extremely positive about what was covered and convinced of how they themselves can adopt the new skills and techniques. Many transport companies as well have realised the potential savings in overall operating savings that can ensue. While fuel savings can be achieved, there is also the overall safety elements, which for some, might not be tangible in the short term however, I have seen huge improvements in safer driving of many drivers.

I would definitely recommend the SAFED NZ course, and if suitable, the SAFED NZ Instructor course, to any fleet or individual.

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Garry Jones
TR Driver Training Ltd, Auckland
Mob: +64 27 492 9197

I am the QA and Course Development Manager and Senior Trainer for TR Driver Training Ltd who are an NZQA accredited Private Training Establishment with 13 branches situated throughout New Zealand. I have been driving for the past 40 years and have had various training roles for the last 30 years.

The transport industry and transport operators are getting smarter, fuel efficiency and safe driving techniques are becoming more and more important to the operators as the pressures of the industry demand that the vehicles are utilised to their fullest 24/7. The driver is a key ingredient and has a big influence in the successful running of a company, so it is imperative that they have the correct training and attitude towards the driving task as a whole, SAFED NZ is the key to this as it is a short, fuel and safety focused course that has been proven to produce right results.

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Garry Nielsen
Green Fern Driver Development Ltd
Masterton, Wairarapa
Ph: 06 370 4075
Mob: 027 446 0693

I am a Senior SAFED NZ Instructor. My driver training experience has been as an Emergency Response Driver Trainer for the NZ Fire Service for 20 years and developing and overseeing in house trainers and driver development for a large bus and coach operator. This experience led to me co-ordinating and delivering a successful SAFED NZ Driver Training Instructor (DTI) programme on behalf of the Bus and Coach Association.

I was selected by the Ministry of Transport to be trained as a Senior Instructor in 2010 when the New Zealand version of SAFED NZ was introduced into New Zealand based on the successful U.K. programme. I was then heavily involved in the alignment of the SAFED NZ material for trucks into the Bus and Coach sector.

My philosophy is that SAFED NZ is not driver training as such. It is more about professional driver development as it takes drivers with a variety of experience, knowledge and skills to a higher level of competency in regard to safety and fuel efficiency awareness and skills. I believe in the product and its potential for heavy vehicle fleet efficiency as the driver has the greatest influence.

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Graeme Mabey
H.W.Richardson Group Ltd
Palmerston North
Ph: 06 350 0788
Mob: 0272339468

I am the Head Driver Trainer for the HW Richardson Group Driver Training and Development Team. We are a nationwide Driver Training provider, offering practical and classroom based training and education to drivers and operators of all types of vehicles including heavy vehicles, light fleet vehicles, forklifts and specialist vehicles. I have been with the HW Richardson Group for over 5 years, but have been involved in the Transport Industry and Driver Training for the past 23 years. My previous position was a Regional Transport Training and Development Manager within the Dairy Industry.

I am highly motivated and enthusiastic, with a wide range of heavy vehicle operations, transport training and development, management and project work. Driver safety and vehicle running costs are an important part of any transport operation. Having drivers trained in SAFED NZ driving techniques is certainly a big plus for any transport operation. I have witnessed firsthand the saving’s that can potentially be achieved through having a committed approach to SAFED NZ.

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Keith Bridgeman
Master Drive Services Ltd
Lower Hutt
Ph: 04 566 2341
Mob: 0274 427 103

I am employed at Master Drive Services Ltd after having served in the NZ Army as a driver/driver trainer and licence testing officer for many years, operating a variety of light and heavy vehicles. I am currently employed as a driver trainer, training new drivers in the heavy vehicle area, but I also conduct some work with light vehicles, 4 wheel drives in the main.

Like most personnel going through this programme, I was amazed at the savings to be had, when the SAFED NZ principles are applied consistently. The most important thing I got from the training was the savings that can be made by using SAFED NZ driving techniques, including keeping the wheels rolling and the benefits of skip shifting etc. What impressed me most was the way slower speeds often translated into quicker trip times. SAFED NZ training not only talks the talk, but also demonstrates in practical terms so drivers will notice in most cases immediate improvements.

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Les Newth
Commercial Roadskills Ltd
Mangere, Auckland
Ph: 021 276 3600

I am currently a Director and assessor at Commercial Roadskills. Throughout my driving career I have been very conscious of maintaining a high level of driving skill, whether driving trucks buses or coaches. After having my driving skills benchmarked at a reasonably high level in 1983, I realized to maintain high standards requires ongoing continuous development, as there is always more to learn. To me the benefits of maintaining a high level of driving skills are experiencing less stress, improved fuel consumption and a much more professional approach to driving, I have been using these skills since 2000 to assist others in the transport industry through training and development.

I see the introduction of the SAFED NZ program to New Zealand as a great way to share these skills and to me it is a way of handing on important driving skills to the broader driving industry, with the added benefit that drivers & companies can see immediate efficiency improvements. Training Instructors for SAFED NZ and seeing results with their students gives me tremendous satisfaction along with my personal goal of improving the skill level in the road transport industry throughout New Zealand.

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Mike Crandon
McFall Fuel Limited
Ph: 0800 623255
Mob: 027 5710891

As training and Safety Manager for McFall Fuel, my role is to ensure that we have safe and professionally trained drivers delivering petroleum products across the North Island, as the senior SAFED NZ driver trainer and the company’s heavy vehicle performance advisor (HVPA). With 26 years’ experience working within the transport industry in both Europe and Australasia, SAFED has played a key role in the development of drivers that I have trained. I have given them a better understanding of how to operate the modern electronic engine to its greatest efficiency. A fuel efficient driver is a safe driver! There are not many training programmes that increase a driver’s confidence in vehicle control and driving performance. The programme gives an understanding of the vehicle they drive and how to handle and make the most of the technology in the modern heavy vehicle.

SAFED NZ plays a key part in the training package that McFall Fuel Limited provides for its driving team, not only does it offer proven reduce fuel cost to the business but it also ensures our drivers have reduced stress levels, increased personal safety and that they are engaged in our safety culture. SAFED NZ training is critical to McFall Fuel’s environmental vision of no harm to the environment because it has a positive impact by reducing our CO2 emissions. McFall Fuel Limited are passionate about having first class drivers and my challenge is to give them the capability and the confidence to be just that!

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Mike Poa
National Safety Trainer, Express Couriers Ltd
Ph: 09 5744487
Mob: 027 2472636

I am the National Trainer for Express Couriers Ltd which operates in many centres throughout New Zealand. I have over 30 years’ experience as a driver trainer. SAFED NZ has provided me with a greater understanding as to how we can better train drivers in fuel efficient driving techniques – SAFED NZ certainly helped me lift my own driving skills! Fuel efficient driving of heavy vehicles has a place in every vehicle fleet – whether your fleet is big or small. How can you ignore an opportunity to reduce your fuel usage and improve the profitability of your business?

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Stephen Wickens
PassRite Driving Academy
Porirua City (also in Whangarei)
Ph: 04 2375950
Mob: 027 288 5712

I am the Senior Trainer in our family business (Stephen Wickens & Associates Ltd) trading as PassRite in Porirua and Whangarei under a franchise from PassRite Driving Academy in Auckland.

Following 13 years as CEO of MITO (Motor Industry Training Organisation, now the ITO for Road Transport) I had 12 years experience as Dean of Trades and Transport at Whitireia Polytechnic in Porirua. I have 10 years experience as a bus/coach driver and 12 years experience as a driver educator and NZTA Course provider for occupational driving licence classes and endorsements. We own our own trucks and equipment for all classes of licence and endorsements, and have chosen European in order to deliver the SAFED NZ course.

The training brought about a paradigm shift in my thinking about the way modern more powerful vehicles need to be driven. The benefits from the implementation of SAFED NZ and the ongoing monitoring of driver performance are obvious in terms of the significant savings to be made, as well as the reduced wear and tear on both vehicle and driver.

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Tony Newth
Commercial Roadskills Ltd
Penrose, Auckland
Ph: 021 968 555

I have been involved in many facets of the transport industry here and abroad for over 25 years. Before being trained as one of the first senior instructors I was lucky enough to spend a good amount of time with one of the programmes founders ‘looking under the hood’ of the SAFED NZ training programme and adapting it to suit the New Zealand Transport Industry. I was involved first-hand in maintaining the key elements of SAFED NZ and building upon them to suit the diverseness of the New Zealand transport industry, this fits perfectly with our philosophy at Commercial Roadskills, as we pride ourselves on being able to provide our customers with the best possible solutions and go the extra mile to achieve it.

The most notable difference with the SAFED NZ training programme compared to any other programme available, is being able to quickly and easily measure the success of training and through a properly managed rollout, turn those results into ongoing tangible savings for operators, I truly believe that SAFED NZ alone can change the landscape of driver training and the operation of vehicles within the transport industry for this simple fact! The programme is not rocket science – its driving science!

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