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MP’s pedal-powered commute

Wairarapa’s newest list MP, Celia Wade-Brown, is demonstrating her environmental credentials in her travel from the region to the Beehive.

The Green Party list MP delivered her maiden speech last month and has already sorted out low-emission transport to commute between Carterton and Wellington.

She spoke to The Times-Age about how she combines cycle power with regional rail for a low environmental impact journey.

“Today I cycled from our front paddock to Carterton station, did some work on emails on the train, and then cycled to South Karori to celebrate 25 years since Makara Peak Mountain Bike Park opened. Usually, it’s too early a train to make cycling from home viable,” she said last week.

“I don’t cycle from home when I’m catching the six o’clock train in the morning. From time to time, I do cycle the 15 and a half kilometres from our front paddock to the railway station, but I don’t do it before dawn,” she said.

Wade-Brown is happy to cycle on the road.

“The road is fine. I don’t mind a bit of gravel – 15km is not too bad.”

She estimates about 90 per cent of her journeys between Carterton and Wellington are by rail, sometimes taking her bicycle on the train with her.

“I now usually leave my folding bike at Parliament, and I walk from the train to Parliament.”

Wade-Brown spends weekdays in Wellington and uses a bicycle for transport while there. At weekends she aims to be at her Carterton home.

“There is some variation if it is not a sitting week, or if there are events on in Wellington at the weekend that it’s appropriate I go to.”

She has two bicycles.

“One is more of a mountain bike that’s suitable for gravel roads and I have my little folding bike I keep in the city.”

She uses different transport options, sometimes leaving her bike at the station.

“Round town it’s usually the little folding bike. It’s a Brompton, I bought it in the ’90s.”

Wade-Brown praised the train personnel on the Wairarapa Line but said some of the commuter rail processes could be improved.

“The guards are fantastic. The staff on the train are friendly and helpful,” she said.

“It’s been very frustrating when the train is late, but even more frustrating when the information is inaccurate.”

Wade-Brown is the Green Party spokesperson for local government, emergency management and recovery, democracy and electoral reform, tourism and hospitality, and associate conservation spokesperson.

She became a list MP following the resignation of Golriz Ghahraman in January.

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