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Wellington beaches and CBD pedestrian areas to go smoke-free

Wellington beaches and CBD pedestrian areas to go smoke-free
March 13, 2019

Wellington City Council has voted to make the city’s beaches and the Grey Street pedestrian area in the central city smoke-free.

The move is part of an update to the Council’s Smokefree Action Plan, which supports the Council’s commitment to the Smokefree Aotearoa goal that fewer than 5% of New Zealanders be smokers.

All Wellington City beaches will be smoke-free from late September (beginning of ‘Daylight Saving’ time) while the Grey Street pedestrian area, alongside Lambton Quay, will also become smoke-free once construction work to upgrade the area is completed in the next few months.

Councillor Brian Dawson, who holds the Council’s Social Development portfolio, says the plan is not about being punitive, explaining "while we are designating these areas ‘smoke-free’ we’re not going to be coming in waving a big stick and punishing smokers.

"Our approach is based on education and positively reinforcing the stop smoking message. 

“Wellingtonians in general are thoughtful people and respect the Smoke-free areas we already have and we believe the same will be true for these new areas.”

To help educate the public new smoke-free signs and an online map will be developed to better inform people about all the smoke-free areas.

Areas already smoke-free in Wellington City are: playgrounds, skate parks, sportsfields, bus stops, Waitangi, Midland and Truby King parks, the Botanic Garden, Otari-Wilton’s Bush, Bolton Street Cemetery, Te Ngākau Civic Square, the Zoo and Zealandia, and entrances to all Council buildings including libraries and swimming pools. Beaches and the Grey Street pedestrian area are added in in the updated Action Plan. Laneways are smoke-free on a case-by-case basis.

A Council survey last year of 2269 people found nine out of 10 non-smokers and almost half of smokers support Wellington becoming increasingly smoke-free.

The Council agreed to amend the wording of the Action Plan to recognise that vaping can be an effective tool to help people stop smoking with Council wanting to encourage that. At the same time the Council would like to encourage vapers to avoid vaping in smoke-free areas as a courtesy to other users of the space.  

Related Articles

12th October 2017 - Thai Government to introduce jail sentences for smoking on popular beaches

30th September 2016 - Smoking Ban introduced in ACT playgrounds

2nd November 2013 - Victoria bans smoking at sporting venues, playgrounds, skate parks and pools

30th July 2013 - Auckland Council approves new smoke-free policy

9th January 2013 - NSW smokers banned from swimming pools and sports grounds

8th June 2012 - More Wellington Parks Go Smoke-Free

14th December 2011 - Hamilton Zoo introduces Smoke-Free policy

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