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About this research project

The HIKO pilot aims to provide information on how ebikes can potentially promote transport equity and low carbon transport choices, whilst improving wellbeing, for Māori and Pasifika whānau.

The HIKO pilot project provides 25 participants, predominately based in Wainuiomata, with a long-term loan of an e-bike at no charge for six months. In addition to the loan of an ebike, participants are supplied with a helmet, high-visibility vest, and bike lock. HIKO participants also completed an on-road cycling skills course and were given a brief e-bike orientation. A local mechanic provides regular bicycle servicing and, if necessary, roadside rescue services. HIKO provides people who don't currently cycle with comprehensive support to begin riding an e-bike safely.

Previous research in the same area had identified that, while cycling rates in Wainuiomata are currently very low, many people see bikes as a good way to exercise and enjoy time outdoors. However, barriers to cycling include the hills, distances that people need to travel to get to everyday locations and the cost of ebikes.

HIKO was initiated by a consortium of organisations: Healthy Families Hutt Valley, Kokiri marae, Big Street Bikers and University of Otago Wellington. HIKO is being managed by Kokiri marae and researchers at the University of Otago Wellington are evaluating the project in partnership with Kokiri marae. Funding and in-kind support for the project has been provided by Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, Healthy Families Hutt Valley, Hutt City Council, Lotteries community grant, Big Street Bikers, EkeRua ReBicycle, and Pedal Ready.

Our people

The HIKO research team includes:


The results from the study are not due until late 2023/early 2024. We will update the page when they are available.

Contact us

If you have further questions about this research, please contact Associate Professor Caroline Shaw.


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