Footpath Use

Did you know that whenever your kids cycle on the footpath they are probably breaking the law?  Current NZ law prohibits cycling on the footpath or adjacent berm with two exceptions:

You are only allowed to cycle on the footpath if you are:

  • delivering newspapers or mail, or
  • you are riding a small wheeled recreational device that has a wheel diameter of less than 355 millimetres (typically tricycles or small children’s bicycles).

A standard mountain bike tyre is 660 mm (26”), with children’s bike tyres ranging 406 mm – 660 mm (16” – 26”).

In contrast, in Australia most states allow children to cycle legally on the footpath.  Age limits vary by state.

Watch this video for more information:

Somewhere around the ages 14 – 16 kids are more capable of cycling on the road.  Until that age let’s make cycling on the footpath legal!


The Accessible Streets package is open for consultation.  That means a range of rule changes are proposed and the NZTA/Government want to hear what you think of them.  The proposals include a change to rules to allow bikes to be ridden on the footpath.

The deadline for submissions is 5pm on Tuesday 21 April 2020.


Want details? Read my submission to parliament (2016)

Safe? Suitable? Strategic? Sensible?

Footpath Cycling – A Children’s Issue

How Big is That?

Foot Path Cycling Media Coverage

Footpath Cycling Press Kit


Share with Care

Riding on the road

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Inquiries: Contact Form: Footpath Cycling

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More Information:

A postcard you can send to people who aren’t on facebook:

Footpath cycling NZ


4 thoughts on “Footpath Use

    1. Yes. Unless the path is designated shared use, or you are delivering mail, newspapers or advertising material. This road rule is being reviewed and you will have the opportunity to provide your input.


  1. Now HCC is constructing “share with care paths” around large areas of Hamilton. So the whole issue is very unclear. So I’m not sure why this “illegality” is an issue.


    1. It is great that more shared use paths are being funded and built. Unfortunately not every child will have a designated shared use path connecting their home and school. Parents who want their kids to cycle should not have to choose between safety and the law.


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