Sales and use of 'e-bikes' could face greater regulation in future

Electric bike riders should know by the end of the year whether the Government plans to tighten the rules around the devices' use.

The cycles can be partially powered by a rechargeable battery, making them much easier to ride than a normal bike, especially on hills.

New figures from Statistics New Zealand show imports have skyrocketed, rising from 1532 in 2013 to 13,364 last year.

But sales and use of "e-bikes" could face greater regulation in future, with the Transport Agency part way through a safety review.

"E-bikes are tremendously popular they're only getting more popular and we need to make sure we have a system in place that accommodates for that popularity and ensures that people can use e-bikes safely," says spokesman Andy Knackstedt.

The review will include a look at issues like speed and power, with some other countries requiring e-bike motors to stop assisting the rider when their speed exceeds 25 kilometres per hour.

Mr Knackstedt said use of the bikes in lanes shared by pedestrians was also being looked at, but emphasised that no decisions had been made.

"Before any new regulations are introduced there will be full public consultation so people will definitely have an opportunity to have their say and provide input into what those regulations should look like.

"It's not about putting barriers in place."

The review also includes other "low-powered vehicle" like segways and hoverboards.

Sales of the devices are skyrocketing so much the government’s looking at whether safety rules should be tightened. Source: 1 NEWS

Dairies refuse to sell sugary drinks to kids before 9am

A new initiative by two New Plymouth dairies aims to stop kids from choosing sugary drinks first thing in the morning.

If children come in to either of the stores, the shopkeepers flat out refuse to sell soft drinks, and instead encourage them to buy water.

It's part of a local project called Tap Into Water.

The dairy owners hope that other stores will also get on board.

There's a new initiative encouraging kids to make healthier choices. Source: Seven Sharp



Victim seriously burnt in Auckland fire

One person has received serious burns during a "well ablaze" fire in Takanini, Auckland, a Fire Service spokesperson said. 

The blaze is located at multiple large and unstable sheds that have caught on fire. 

Special equipment including a hose layer and water tank have been brought to help fight the fire due to limited water in the area.

The cause of the fire is unknown but an investigation is underway.

The Fire Service were called to the fire at 5.30pm today and are still in attendance.

Fire engine
Fire engine Source: 1 NEWS