The LAW!

So, what is the regulation regarding e-bikes (pedal assisted electric bicycles) in New Zealand?

Regulations about e-bikes vary. Different countries have different regulations based on different parameters to a e-bike to be considered a bicycle rather than a motor vehicle. Europe, in general, restrict the assistance to 25 km/h but also the output of motor to 250 watts. USA allows e-bikes to be assisted till 20 mph (31 km/h approximately) by a motor up to 750 watts. New Zealand follows a different path.

New Zealand regulations only restricts the motor output. If your e-bike's motor has an output of 300 watts of less it's a bicycle, no matter what speed you can achieve with assistance. Simple, isn't? If didn't get it check the table bellow.

Motor output (watts)Legal bicycle
<= 300:-)
> 300:-(

You can check the official publication below.

Power-assisted Cycles (Declaration Not to be Motor Vehicles)

Power-assisted Cycles (Declaration Not to be Motor Vehicles) Notice 2013
Pursuant to section 168A(2) of the Land Transport Act 1998, and pursuant to an authority delegated to me by the General Manager, Access & Use, of the NZ Transport Agency, I, Ian Baggott, Manager Technical Support Certification & MVR, declare power-assisted cycles (as defined below) fitted with electric auxiliary propulsion motor(s) that have a combined maximum power output not exceeding 300W not to be motor vehicles.

The notice entitled "Power-assisted Cycles (Declaration Not to be Motor Vehicles) Notice 2011", published in the New Zealand Gazette, 12 May 2011, No. 64, page 1494, is revoked.
Dated at Wellington this 25th day of July 2013.
IAN BAGGOTT, Manager Technical Support Certification & MVR.


(a) a vehicle that has at least two wheels and that is designed primarily to be propelled by the muscular energy of the rider; and
(b) includes a power-assisted cycle.
Power-assisted cycle means a cycle to which is attached one or more auxiliary propulsion motors that have a combined maximum power output not exceeding 300W.

Explanatory Note

This note does not form part of the notice but is intended to indicate its general effect:

  • (a) The definitions of cycle and power-assisted cycle are copied from the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 in order to ensure consistency between the Rule and this notice.
  • (b) This notice has been amended to refer to electrically powered vehicles only because the usual internal combustion engines being fitted to cycles produce far more than 300W power.
  • (c) For the avoidance of doubt readers are advised that the District Court has held that low powered electric scooters are NOT power-assisted cycles, but are motor vehicles (of a type known as mopeds).

Source: https://gazette.govt.nz/notice/id/2013-au4618


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