Parks, play areas go smokefree

Designated areas in Kaikoura will be smokefree from this year, though the policy will not be enforced by the district council.

The idea is to put pressure on smokers in certain areas, predominantly those used by families or for sporting events, without penalising them directly.

The Kaikoura District Council has been in discussion about becoming smokefree since Smokefree Canterbury gave a presentation to the social services committee in October last year.

The council subsequently called for submissions, but none were received by the closing date of December 7.

These areas will be designated smokefree under the new policy: Gillings Lane Reserve, Takahanga Domain, Gooches Beach playground, Churchill Park, South Bay playground and park area, Seaview playground and Kekeno Park.

Council events will also be promoted as smokefree.

All schools have been smokefree by law since January 1, 2004.

Kaikoura's Takahanga Marae chose to become smokefree in 2008.

The council policy is aimed at sending the message that children's health and the environment should be protected from smoking.

Key elements of communicating the policy include signs, and promotions online and in appropriate newsletters.

The policy will not mean a ban on smoking in public places, but an invitation to comply.

Councillor John Macphail raised concern about events such as Seafest and the Big Top Bash, which actively designated smoking areas.

He asked whether this would be a breach of the policy.

Council chief executive Stuart Grant said there would be no breach because it was a voluntary measure only.

The smokefree strategy will be reviewed in 18 months.

Kaikoura Star