Lime scooter death: Auckland councillor Christine Fletcher lashes out, calls for scooter removal

Auckland councillor Christine Fletcher has lashed out at e-scooter company Lime after a rider was killed overnight.

A man died at around 10pm on Monday night near Fanshawe St in Auckland CBD after an accident involving a Lime scooter. It's believed to be New Zealand's first Lime death.

Fletcher, who was nearly bowled over by a Lime scooter shortly after they were introduced to Auckland streets, said there needs to be more regulation of the scooters.

"It strikes me as ironic that we are spending a huge amount of time talking about safety speeds in the city for driving but we have absolute scant regard to the safety of people using Lime scooters."

Lime scooters have had a rocky journey in the city since they were introduced in late 2018. Mayor Phil Goff ordered a safety review after they were introduced and they were temporarily pulled off the streets in February due to a safety issue.

They have since returned, but there are now parts of the city where speed must be reduced due to large amounts of pedestrians.

Fanshawe St and Bradnor Ln, where the incident occurred, are not in a low-speed area.  

Fletcher said Auckland Transport, a council-controlled organisation, has been "asleep at the wheel" on Lime safety and she would be in touch with them.

"It has been of concern to me for some time, there should be helmets with this mode of transport.

"I will be writing to the CEO [of Auckland Transport] to say can they please take them off the street until such time as we've actually had a thorough investigation and the regulation we could be assured is going to do as much as possible to prevent any further deaths."

Auckland Council initially granted Lime licence to operate in November last year under a street trading licence.

It said at the time it had been working with Auckland Transport to ensure safety. Lime's conditions do ask people to wear a helmet, but they are not provided with the scooters and riders often skip them.

Auckland Council director of regulatory services Craig Hobbs said he could not comment much on the incident due to the investigations currently underway.

"We were saddened to hear the tragic reports of an incident overnight and have been in touch with both police and the e-scooter operators."

Auckland mayor Phil Goff said it is too early to say what will be done in response to the incident.

"It is not sensible to speculate on the cause of the accident until the police advise of the circumstances.

"When the police and coroner reports are available, we will know if any other action needs to be taken by local or central Government agencies."