Auckland Council looks set to embrace e-scooters but introduce measures, like a 10km/h speed limit, to make riders and pedestrians safe.

Mayor Phil Goff said Lime e-scooters have been incredibly popular with most people riding them responsibly, but there have been some cases of reckless and irresponsible use causing crashes and accident compensation claims.

Since October, Lime has put hundreds of its green electric scooters on the streets of Auckland and Christchurch where they have proven a big hit to get around town.

Under road user rules, e-scooters are allowed to be used on the footpath, separated cycleway shared paths and on the road. They cannot be used in on-road cycleways, unless they are impeding road traffic.

While the rules do not require e-scooter riders to wear a helmet, NZ Transport Agency strongly recommends that helmets are worn for safety.


Goff has welcomed the e-scooters as an alternative means of getting around the city, but has raised concerns with Transport Minister Phil Twyford about changing the rules to allow scooters in cycleways and the need for a speed limit.

He favours a speed limit of 10km/h. Helmets - not legally required and currently only seen in Lime publicity shots - could also be on the agenda.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

A Lime scooter can hit a top-speed of 27km/h on the flat, though there have been reports of up to 40km/h reached downhill.

Auckland councillors Chris Fletcher and Sharon Stewart are also calling for measures to regulate the use of e-scooters on the city's streets.

Fletcher , who was nearly knocked off her feet by a Lime rider outside the Auckland Town Hall on October 25, prompting Goff to order a safety probe, said she was not a killjoy.

"They are quite fun and have a role to play in Auckland, but put them in the right place with a the right set of conditions," said Fletcher, who supports a 10km/h speed limit.

Stewart said she supported the Lime scooters, but is concerned about the daily reports of accidents, some of which are serious, and the rising cost of accident compensation payments.

"It's been pointed out to me the wheels of the Lime scooters are very small in terms of stability," said Stewart.


On Wednesday, council officers are due to discuss and confirm the necessary approvals for extending Lime's trial licence to operate its scooters. At this stage, it is not known how long the extension will run.

The decision rests with the council's licensing and regulatory compliance team, in consultation with Auckland Transport.

Council chief operating officer Dean Kimpton said one consideration for extending Lime's licence is the potential for a second operator to enter the market and provide comparison information.

The safety report sought by Goff, information from the trial, input from ACC, NZTA, Accident Compensation Corporation(ACC) and Christchurch City Council, will be packaged for councillors to decide whether to continue issuing licences for e-scooter providers.

Fletcher and Sharon Stewart believe the decision to extend Lime's trial licence should also be made by councillors.

In Auckland, Lime has paid the council $3326 for a licence to operate scooters for three months. The council does not receive any share any of the company's income or profits.

In Christchurch, the council has charged Lime $136 for a permit to operate up to 700 e-scooters from October 15 last year to the end of February.

The Herald has sought comment from Lime about how many trips have been made on its scooters in Auckland and how much it has earned since October. It costs $1 to unlock a scooter and 30 cents a minute to ride.