E-scooter deal extended in Waimakariri

Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon on a pink e-scooter. Photo: David Hill / North Canterbury News
Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon on a pink e-scooter. Photo: David Hill / North Canterbury News
Pink Flamingo Scooters will continue zipping through towns like Rangiora and Kaiapoi.

The Wellington-based company has been confirmed as the Waimakariri district’s e-scooter provider for another three years.

Waimakariri Mayor Dan Gordon said the community has been overwhelmingly positive since the e-scooters were first introduced in 2020.

‘‘There has not been much negative feedback and Flamingo has been proactive in engaging with the council.

‘‘E-Scooter companies could have come here anyway, but because Flamingo has chosen to work with us we have been able to get a better outcome for the community.’’

An online survey found two-thirds of respondents supported extending the agreement for the pink scooters to be available in the district.

Mr Gordon said the scooters provided another mode of transport when people were travelling short distances.

‘‘It is a tangible way we can enable innovation that gets people out of cars and reduces emissions.

‘‘I have used them myself and they are fun to use. It is a fun way of getting around.’’

Flamingo Scooters chief executive Jacksen Love said user surveys found that 73 percent of users said the scooters made it easier for them to not own or use a motor vehicle.

The company has been operating in Waimakariri since December 2020.

Photo: Flamingoscooters.com
Photo: Flamingoscooters.com
A no-ride zone on High Street, between Durham Street and the BNZ corner, is enforced by geo-fencing, and the scooters are equipped with GPS trackers making them easier to locate.

‘‘The scooters are looked after and promptly picked up and returned to places where they will be used,’’ Mr Gordon said.

Mr Love said scooter use is monitored and Flamingo Scooters has the ability to terminate rides or suspend accounts of those who misuse the scooters.

There are 150 e-scooters available on the streets in the Waimakariri district and Flamingo Scooters has a licence to operate up to 200.

Local people are contracted to look after the e-scooters.

A report prepared by council staff said there were around 85,000 rides on e-scooters over the last 21 months, mostly in Rangiora.

The scooters were also available in Kaiapoi, Woodend and Pegasus, while users also rode them along the Passchendaele Pathway between Kaiapoi and Rangiora.

District council staff have referred 26 complaints to Flamingo for scooters blocking pathways, while the company has received 60 complaints from the public over the last 21 months.

There have been 18 minor accidents over the same period, all due to rider error, the report said.

The agreement between the council and Flamingo Scooters sees the council paid an 8 cent levy for each ride, which is set aside for e-scooter infrastructure.

By David Hill, Local Democracy Reporter

■ LDR is local body journalism co-funded by RNZ and NZ On Air.