We’re proposing to update our Smokefree Parks and Playgrounds Policy, so it better aligns with the government’s goals for a smokefree Aotearoa New Zealand.
Our existing policy was introduced in 2008 and prohibits smoking in all parks and playgrounds in the district. However, many councils in Aotearoa have smokefree policies that include other public spaces, including city centres and town squares, beaches, skateparks, areas around council-owned buildings, and at council funded events and functions.
In reviewing this policy, we’ve gathered data and information from a range of sources to build a picture of the impacts smoking in the community. We found that smoking remains a significant health issue for New Zealanders. Despite declining smoking rates, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand and the highest health risk factor, especially for Māori and Pacific communities. In Kāpiti, approximately 11 percent of our population are tobacco smokers.
Since our policy was introduced, vaping has become commonplace and has been adopted by a growing portion of our community. While vaping was initially used as a tool to help people quit smoking, research suggests that it is increasingly being adopted by those who were never smokers.
We think a broader range of outdoor places in Kapiti should be designated Smokefree to further de-normalise and help reduce the prevalence of smoking and vaping and create more healthy environments for our people and tamariki.
We’re proposing a Smokefree Public Places Policy to replace the current Smokefree Parks and Playgrounds Policy. This would see more smoke and vape-free zones around Kāpiti to de-normalise smoking in public and include the following areas:
- All council owned parks, reserves, and sportsgrounds
- All council owned playgrounds, including skateparks
- Within 10 metres of outdoor public areas around council buildings and facilities
- Train stations, bus stops and shelters
- Beaches, rivers, lakes
- Outdoor dining on public land
Events held on Council land or receiving Council funding.
We’re reviewing Council’s gambling and smokefree policies and sought community feedback on proposed changes August–October 2023. Following are the submissions received:
- Smokefree policy submissions – redacted [PDF 296 KB]
- Smokefree policy submissions – long form responses [PDF 8.28 MB].