Taupo police are no longer allowed to use their electric-powered Segways because current vehicle legislation cannot classify the stand-on scooters.

The station became the first in the country to use the Segways, and officers had been travelling on them when roads were closed and when patrolling the town's streets, Taupo police area commander Inspector Steve Bullock said.

"They are a novel vehicle, I would liken them to a modern-day horse because they engender curiosity and people want to talk to you about them, which is what we want as a police organisation," he said.

"We want to be more engaged with our community and be approachable and be a person rather than just a blue shirt."

But the two $13,5000 scooters, which were bought by Taupo Moana Rotary Club and lent to police by Taupo Safer Community Trust, are now sitting unused because they do not fit into any category under current vehicle legislation.

"In the absence of any class they by default become a motor vehicle, which you can't ride on a footpath or in a public place," Mr Bullock said.

Technically, anyone riding a Segway in public was breaking the law under current legislation, he said.

Taupo District Council and the Transport Agency were working to try and come create some clarity in the law, but until then, Taupo police were back to plodding the beat.

Mr Bullock hoped the Segways would be a part of the police arsenal again soon.

"I don't see them as something you're going to race up and arrest somebody from but when you're on them you're more visible and also you've got more visibility because you're high up. But the big thing is that they'll get people talking to the police and make people feel safer.

"I'm hopeful that they'll be a tool of the future for the police, not just for Taupo but for all of us."

Segways can be legally driven on public streets in most countries in Europe, with various restrictions.

Segways were this week officially banned from UK pavements and roads, due to a recent law case that found the electric vehicles illegal.

Phil Coates was fined 75 ($167) after being found guilty of riding one on a pavement in Barnsley.

It is classified as a motor vehicle by British law, but failed to meet the requirements to be driven on the road. As such, it's not allowed to be driven on the pavement or on the road.

- NZPA