If you’ve visited Auckland or Christchurch recently you may have noticed the proliferation of electric hire-scooters whizzing around.

I was first introduced to an e-scooter by Cr Rick Curach who rides one to work most days. I liked it so much I bought my own. On a fine day, I’ll park at Baywave and ride over the Matapihi rail bridge. Riding through the rural scenery is a great way to decompress after work too. When you’re one of just a handful out there riding it’s quite peaceful.

It’s a different story altogether where e-scooter hire has been allowed. A few weeks ago, while in Auckland, I walked downhill to the viaduct and had to constantly be on guard as a multitude of scooters weaved in and out of pedestrians at 20kph or more. It wasn’t just the ones that were mobile I had to watch out for. I lost count of the number of scooters that were parked in all manner of places along the footpath. Apparently, there are 500 for hire in Auckland and 700 in Christchurch.

I had to get back uphill from the viaduct, so I rented a scooter. I felt as obnoxious as the other riders I’d just witnessed. In my view, the solution is to make it legal for scooters to use cycle-lanes but not footpaths in retail/commercial areas. Council isn’t in a rush to allow hire-scooters here. I’d rather wait a while and learn from other cities mistakes first.

Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris