The Journey Begins

The best way to predict the future,

is to create it.

Alan Key (IT Entrepreneur)

In May 2018 a few passionate Northlanders embarked on an ambitious journey – to make Whangarei a destination, an attractive & cool place to work & live.

To do this we came up with the Vision Zero Whangarei – no emissions, no crashes, no hassle by 2025.

We can’t do this alone.


Whangarei in Te Reo means meeting place of the whales. We like to see Whangarei as the meeting place of the artistic and innovative talent. A place where people like to come and develop leading edge ideas, products, services and at the same time live a balanced, safe life.

Come and join us on this exciting journey.


Mobility as a Service – Vision Zero for Whangarei
The Challenge

Whangarei is going through its biggest transformation in the last decade/s. The city is growing: a new billion dollar hospital will be build, over 15,000 new houses will be build in the next 10-15 years, traffic is increasing, car parks are getting scarce and expensive.

This is a reflection of a global urbanisation challenge.

Some Facts & Figures

  • By 2030 over 70% of the global population will live in urban environment.
  • On average every day one person dies in a road crash in NZ, over 1.3 million people die on roads globally every year.
  • Over 3 million people die of respiratory diseases which are transport related.


The Solution Options

With new mobility concepts Whangarei could become a leader for provincial towns in New Zealand and internationally. Vision Zero – is presenting a realistic concept to transition Whangarei to a new mobility future.

There is not one solution to all our mobility needs. Here is a list of some multi-modal Options

Notes: capex (capital expense to buy), opex (operating expense, includes fuel, insurance, tax, parking)

Mode Summary Pros Cons Cost/km Comments
Individual Transport
Walk Healthiest and cheapest way to get from A to B Healthy


Environmentally the best

Can be hard for unfit or disabled people Zero Should always be your option one, ask yourself why you can not walk first


Push bike, very popular in European cities like Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Munich Healthy


If there are no bike tracks, can be dangerous Zero, once Capex of buying a bike is absorbed Best on dedicated bike tracks


Like push bike but easier Good for daily commute if you don’t want to sweat Still expensive

Need to charge up every couple of days



Great for short trips
Our Mayor is using the Scooter to get to work most days.
Easy to get around

Can be folded away

Small Capex

Electric Scooters As City Officials Send Cease-And-Desist Letters

Very popular in Paris and other big European Cities Very easy to get around town Capex of a few hundred NZD

Needs recharging every few days

One-wheel scooter


Popular in China and European cities Easy to get around

Easy to store away in a bag

Can take a little while to get balance, not for everyone

Capex of a few hundred NZD

Needs recharging every few days



Most popular mode of individual transport in NZ Gives you lots of flexibility including pulling your toys to the beach etc Huge environmental impact

Expensive to run

Sits idle over 20 hrs most days

Is typically your second biggest purchase over your lifetime

In 2017 the most sold new vehicle in NZ is a ute like Ford Ranger
Electric Vehicle (EV)


In NZ one of the best forms of individual transport if you need to transport heavy gear or travel long distances Like normal car but less environmental impact High capex

Range anxiety for early EV models (now most new EV’s can do 200-350 km per charge, fast charge takes 20 min, can charge over night on cheap electricity at home)

  With over 80% of NZ electricity from renewable resources, this makes more sense than importing $8billion of fossil fuel from overseas every year for our cars
Hydrogen Vehicle (HV)


One of the cleanest form of transport fuel Huge range of 800 km+ Higher capex due to low numbers of HV

Virtually no hydrogen refuelling stations in NZ

Hydrogen has the most dense energy storage capacity, but can be dangerous if not handled carefully
Public Transport


Most buses in Northland are old and not very clean If you have high patronage, buses are a great mode of public transport If underutilised, buses are expensive to run, need to be subsidized and are environmentally not very clean


A cleaner form of public transport See EV arguments China is shifting to e-buses (over 350,000 in 2017 alone)
Hydrogen Bus


One of the cleanest form of public transport See HV arguments Expensive capex

No refuelling network, yet



Not very applicable to Whangarei or Northland, as we lack the number of people likely to use trains Business case of rail in Northland is hard to make: needs over $1-2 billion investment for very few commercial and only few public customers


Good for short trips Digital taxi services like Uber are another, often cheaper alternative to traditional taxi services


Like normal car but less environmental impact High capex

Range anxiety for early EV models (now most new EV’s can do 200-350km per charge, fast charge takes 20min, can charge over night on cheap electricity at home)



Whangarei Harbour lends itself to this awesome form of transport Coolest way to commute to work Would take guts by WDC to develop a vision and then negotiate a PPI with e-ferry provider Check out Venice vaporettos. Could be used from the Heads to town with stops along the way
AV Pod


Whangarei could design & build our own EV-AV pods Lead NZ in rural city public transport solutions Takes guts from local/ central government and local community to dare to dream to become mobility as a service leader

EECA has a great tool to compare total cost of ownership for your individual vehicle.