A defended hearing in the Whangarei District Court began yesterday that may ultimately determine if the Segway Personal Transporter (PT) meets the legal definition of a ‘mobility device’ in New Zealand. The definition currently includes powerchairs (electric wheelchairs) and mobility scooters, and it has been Segway New Zealand’s view since 2004 that the Segway PT also falls within the defining criteria set out under the Land Transport Act. There is no prior case law on this section of the Act.
The hearing was not completed during the one day that it was set down for. Due to scheduling issues with the availability of the presiding judge and one expert witness, no date was set for the case to continue. A date will be determined on 31 July, and it may be some months before the court reconvenes to hear this matter.
A newspaper article in the NZ Herald today incorrectly reported on some parts of the hearing, including that the number of Segway PTs sold in New Zealand to date was about 85,000 (when in fact, this figure relates to worldwide sales).
Segway New Zealand welcomes enquiries on 0800 2 SEGWAY.