Tauranga City Council has unanimously approved a year-long trial of Lime shared e-scooters in the city.
Lime, which operates in several other New Zealand cities, says the trial is likely to start by the end of this month.
Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said he was very excited about the trial and it would help "Tauranga move into the 21st century".
Lime can roll up to 400 scooters out around the city to start with but will have to get council permission to add more, according to a council report.
Riders use an app to find a scooter near them and unlock it. They are charged per minute of use and when they are done, they generally just leave it where their trip ended.
No other e-scooter companies will be allowed to start operating in the city during the trial.
There will be rules for where and when they can operate - and how fast the scooters can go.
Geofencing technology could detect the Lime e-scooters entering areas with extra restrictions and cap their speed, bring them slowly to a stop and other actions.
The scooters, which have a top speed of around 25km/h, will be banned from the Mauao trails, cemeteries and all unsealed pathways in council parks and reserves but can otherwise be used within the city limits.
Lime will be able to operate between 5am and midnight daily, with two exceptions. Outside of those times, the scooters will be deactivated.
The Mount Maunganui and Tauranga CBDs will be low-speed zones with a 15km/h limit and will have an earlier curfew of 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights. The same speed limit will apply in the Greerton Village business district.
Areas the scooters can't be ditched included parks, reserves, bridges and overpasses.
Lime will hire "juicers" to collect and recharge the scooters, and the meeting heard it expected to start advertising for applications soon.
Instead of the company being charged per scooter, the council will charge Lime 15c per ride, an arrangement that was unique in New Zealand.
The company would also pay a $2500 permit fee.
Lime will provide the council with data about how the scooters are being used and surveys and feedback forms will be used to gather public feedback on the trial.
Waka Kotahi, the New Zealand Transport Agency, defines e-scooters as "low-powered vehicles". These don't require registration or a licence if they meet the criteria of that definition. Rules for using e-scooters include:
- They can be ridden on footpaths or as close as practicable to the edge of a road
- They cannot be ridden in designated cycle lanes
- Helmets are recommended but not legally required
- E-scooters must give way to pedestrians and mobility devices on the footpath
- They must operate at a speed that does not put other footpath users at risk
- On footpaths, e-scooters must operate in a careful and considered manner.