Sustainable transport - New Zealand

Sustainable transport

Finding solutions together

The joint cooperation statement on climate change between the Netherlands and Aotearoa New Zealand, issued by Prime-Minister Ardern and Prime-Minister Rutte during his visit to New Zealand in October 2019, states the commitment of both countries to explore the contribution of clean hydrogen to the energy transition. In particular to help decarbonize the hard-to-abate sectors like industry and heavy-duty transport, and provide long-term energy storage.  

Dutch Electric Tugboat in Port of Auckland and Hydrogen trucks on the road

Sparky the first electric tugboat in New Zealand
Sparky, Port of Auckland in 2022.

Damen Shipyards and Ports of Auckland have teamed up find solutions for the shared and urgent challenge of climate change.  Damen Shipyards built the first electric tug boat in the world for Ports of Auckland and the tugboat, named ‘Sparky, becomes operational in 2022. It contributes to reducing CO2 emissions and is one of the innovative examples of how Dutch and New Zealand private sector can join forces . 

In 2021 New Zealand company Hiringa Energy Ltd commissioned Hyzon Motors to supply and deliver 1.500 hydrogen fuel cell-powered, zero-emissions heavy trucks which are assembled in Hyzon’s Winschoten facility in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Walking the walk… riding the bike

Ambassador van der Vorst on the embassy bike
Orange Bike Ride in Wellington

Bicycle use is widespread in the Netherlands. 27% of all journeys are made by bicycle. And in some cities, this figure is much higher. The Netherlands is keen to do more to encourage people to travel by bicycle. With more Kiwis taking their bikes around town means countless advantages: cleaner air, better health, more vibrant and inclusive cities, and a smaller C02 footprint.

For years the Netherlands embassy in Wellington has been active to become more sustainable. Also in relation to its own transport. It was decided to dispose of the embassy car and the ambassador commutes and travels to meetings by foot, bicycle or by e-bike.  There are two bikes  available for staff to get to meetings in town.  In this way the Netherlands embassy hopes to not only contribute to reduce emissions and traffic congestion in the city but also stimulate others to take the bike more often. Walking the walk, or in this case…riding the bike.

Following the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch the Dutch Cycling Embassy assisted in planning Christchurch’s cycling infrastructure, part of which is the Uni-Cycle – the cycle route that runs right through the University of Canterbury to the central city.

The embassy coordinates an annual nationwide Orange Bike Ride to promote cycling as a sustainable means of transport. This event has grown to include 11 locations across the country.

Cycling nation the Netherlands

Go by bike day
Cross party cycle in Wellington- April 2022.

To promote the Netherlands as a sustainable cycling nation and raise the profile of cycling as a solution for sustainable mobility and climate smart urban planning, the Netherlands Embassy teams up with the Wellington City Council in the annual Go by Bike Day, supports screenings of documentaries such as Why we Cycle and Together we Cycle and organizes bike events like a bike ride with cross party parliamentarians or the diplomatic community. In case more cities in Aotearoa New Zealand are interested, Dutch NGO’s, businesses, research institutes and local governments are their disposal to share Dutch expertise in the area of smart mobility and cycling.