The UniWaka app is restricted to Unitec staff and students and is not available to the general public. This enables us to make most of the already existing trust within the Unitec community, and the institutionalised systems and processes that help keep us safe and accountable. See below for more info.
In addition, and upon signing up, all Drivers and Riders are sent guidelines that highlight Uniwaka’s Terms and Conditions. It makes clear the expectation to abide by safe practices (as outlined by the New Zealand Road code, including the Safe Driving Tips).
Breaches of T&Cs and behaviours not aligned with our values, can be recorded through the report function in the Uniwaka app, which will be followed up by Unitec staff who are administering the app.
More information on Unitec’s safety and accountability system:
. Whether you are a staff member or a student, you should always feel safe and welcome. Unitec does not tolerate conduct that is discriminatory, intimidating, culturally, sexually or socially inappropriate.
. During recruitment, all Unitec staff sign the Unitec Code of Conduct. This Code sets out the standards of behaviour that we are all expected to uphold.
. During enrolment all students sign the Ākonga Angitū- Student Charter.
. Both of these documents clarify which behaviours are in line with our Te Noho Kotahitanga values and which are not.
Staying safe when using Uniwaka
What information can I see on people’s profile?
Name, gender, picture, what department the user is from, whether they are staff or a student, as well as any additional information they choose to share (i.e. their interests, likes, dislikes). Once the driver accepts rider request, the matched users can then use the messaging feature inside the app to chat directly and find out more information.
Can you search by suburb/region?
After entering your journey information, the app will by default only show you other suers in your regions. Uniwaka uses the time and location entered by both riders and drivers, plus the driver's wander radius* , to create matches.
*how far you are willing to travel from your start point to pick somebody up
Can I only ride with staff or students?
Yes - it is up to you to choose who you travel with. All user profiles clearly state who is a student and who is staff. There is no ‘filter’ button however -as Uniwaka is designed to encourage users to connect and network with the whole Unitec whānau.
Does Uniwaka have a feature for last minute rides?
No. Uniwaka trips are arranged in advance – not in real time. Uniwaka is different from Uber and other commercial taxi services in this respect. With Uniwaka, journeys into campus need to be arranged the night before but there is flexibility in organising outbound trips. You can look for rides up to 3 hours before desired departure time when you are on Unitec campus.
How long should Drivers and Riders wait for each other if someone is late?
Even with the best planning we all run a little late sometimes. If you are going to be late, contact your carpooling match as soon as possible. Riders, it’s reasonable to ask a Driver to wait 5 minutes for you. Beyond that the Driver is free to continue their journey without you.
How do you determine what is a safe location for stopping and getting picked up?
We recommend all Drivers and Riders abide by the official New Zealand Road Code and Local council bylaws. As a quick reference, here are some of the places you must not park, stop your vehicle, set down or pick up passengers:
. Broken yellow lines
. Bus or transit lanes during the hours of operation as indicated by the signs
. Where traffic signs state you must not stop or park
. On a marked bus stop or taxi stand
What if I feel shy or awkward?
Carpooling is a great chance to get to know others at Unitec. Some Drivers may not feel up to driving and making lots of conversation at the same time. If so, you might listen to music or podcasts.
An easy way to start a conversation is to ask open-ended questions and to practice active listening. Most people enjoy talking about themselves – especially when someone else is paying attention and asking relevant questions. Open-ended questions spark interesting, dynamic conversations and encourage others to relax in your company … before you know it, you’ll be finding the conversation genuinely interesting!
Some examples of open-ended questions:
a. What are some of your plans for the future?
b. What’s your favourite meal?
c. What was the highlight of your weekend?
d. How did you come to be at Unitec?
e. What’s the best book you’ve read lately?
If you don’t know a person very well, it’s probably best to avoid potentially sticky topics. This might include religion, politics, gossip about others and other opinionated issues. Be considerate about what you discuss, as heated debating may create a tense or unpleasant riding experience.
What do I do if an incident happens or if I want to report feedback?
Traffic incident including breakdown or crashes should be responded to in the usual way, i.e. by calling the relevant insurer, tow-away agency or emergency services as required.
Such incidents can be also reported through the app after the situation has been dealt with. Riders cannot post feedback on a Driver’s profile, but everyone can use Uniwaka’s report function (via a button in the app).
Incidents of personal nature can also be recorded through the report function in the Uniwaka app, which goes to Unitec staff who are Administering the app.
What happens with cancellations or sickness?
Drivers and Riders should stay home if they are feeling unwell. If a Driver cancels a ride for this or other reasons, they will endeavour to let you know with as much notice as possible. If this happens, make the trip using other modes of travel typically available to you.