Commuting Councillor Matt Lawrey beats traffic by biking to meetings

22/02/2021 12:06pm
Matt Lawrey commuting on his bike.
Matt Lawrey commuting on his bike.

Councillor Matt Lawrey doesn’t have to worry about the morning commute when he comes to Civic House for Council meetings.

There is no time spent stuck in traffic or troubles finding a park; he simply rides his bike from his house in Victory, barely raising a sweat on the largely downhill journey and arrives a short-time later at Civic House for meetings, still looking fresh.

“It’s only about 10 minutes from door to door and I actually enjoy just seeing what’s going on and who’s around on my morning commute.”   

For Councillor Lawrey, who rides bikes to live sustainably, keep fit and have fun, cycling is excellent for his mental health.

“I actually find mountain biking really meditative and tend to get grumpy if I go a day or two without riding a bike,” he says.

Councillor Lawrey found his passion for cycling as a child, and his passion was piqued in his twenties when he lived in Japan for three years and used a bike for most journeys. He even did a “mammoth” eight month bike tour of Southeast Asia. 

Councillor Lawrey would like to encourage people to sign up for Aotearoa Bike Challenge.

“Riding a bike is good for people and good for the planet. It’s also really fun and good for your head,” he says.

“Not only that but the more people we can get on bikes, the more we build the case for better cycling infrastructure, and the more liveable Nelson-Whakatū will become.”

He also has some practical advice for people looking to start out riding a bike.

“Get the best bike you can and go-for-it,” he says.

“Make sure the tyres are properly inflated because it can make a huge difference and, if you find a hill gets too steep, just jump off and push. There’s no shame in pushing.” 

Aotearoa Bike Challenge

Aotearoa Bike Challenge is a fun, free competition that is all about seeing which workplaces or groups can get the most people to ride a bike for just 10 minutes or more.

Nelson City Council is challenging Tasman District Council and encourages local businesses to get involved.

To register for Aotearoa Bike Challenge go to