News | 29 May 2024
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Wellington workplaces take on the saddle

New bike lanes being built as part of the bike network Paneke Pōneke are making it easier for people to move in more sustainable ways. Workplaces are also key in helping us rethink how we get to and from mahi (work).

Image of a large crowd of people on and around bikes in front of TSB arena.
Go by Bike Day breakfast. Credit: WCC Photographer

Wellington City Council supports several workplace initiatives encouraging commuters to go by bike, including the annual Aotearoa Bike Challenge. This national challenge has run through the month of February, since 2017.  

The challenge mobilises workers who cycle to mahi and provides them with the tools and encouragement to support their hoa mahi (workmates) to give it a go. The challenge then provides new and occasional riders with the support and encouragement to develop new bike riding habits.  

In Pōneke this year the challenge was launched at Go by Bike Day in February. Around 1000 people attended the event, held over two hours.

267 Pōneke workplaces took part in the challenge, made up of 4133 people. Of these, 718 were new to the saddle! Collectively they rode 614,006km in 46,828 bike trips. Over half of these trips had a transportation purpose, saving 42.06 tCO2e (tonnes of CO2 equivalent) compared to those same trips taken in a private car - that’s the equivalent of driving to Cape Reinga and back about 108 times! 

Teresa Maguire from the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) says the challenge was an awesome chance to connect with other kaimahi (staff) and support those who were interested in biking more.  

“I've offered to cycle with a colleague one day to show her a route to work, as she lives in the same general area as I do.”  

Teresa and her hoa mahi Rachel also put together a video showing people the bike facilities in their building. They are considering making this video part of the induction process for new starters at the NZCER. 

Manatū Taonga (Ministry for Culture & Heritage), another winner in the challenge this year, hosted Bikespace at their workplace for kaimahi to upskill in bike maintenance.  

“Regular bike commuters attended the workshop and also those who rode less but were curious about bike maintenance. A few people have visited the Bikespace workshop at Te Papa since the visit and have been encouraged to keep their bikes on the road, instead of gathering dust in the garage!” says Ben Brocherie. 

Mobile Bikespace is offered year-round for workplaces and community groups. You can email us for more information. 

Various workplaces hosted Flamingo e-bike training sessions during the challenge, a way for kaimahi who don’t own their own bikes to get involved. Hayden Beavis said before the bike training he didn't have any idea what to do with an ebike.  “Now public share ebikes are my favourite way to get up the hills to get home!”  These sessions are offered year-round – find out more here. 

To learn more about how Council can support your workplace to explore and embrace sustainable commuting options, check out the Sustainable Workplace Travel page