Council plans to stub out smoking across more of Rotorua

RLC staff Rachel Doelman (left) and Rosemary Viskovic with smokefree signage at Arawa Street bus stop.
Supplied

RLC staff Rachel Doelman (left) and Rosemary Viskovic with smokefree signage at Arawa Street bus stop.

All Rotorua sportsgrounds, skate parks, bus stops and shelters will soon be smokefree zones.

The move comes after Rotorua Lakes Council's (RLC) extended Smokefree Outdoor Spaces Policy.

Counting down to the Government's goal of New Zealand becoming a smokefree nation by 2025, these outdoor spaces are being added to the current list of smokefree zones in Rotorua as phase one of the policy.

The policy is to be implemented in two phases over two years.

RLC will launch phase one on Wednesday, February 22, at the Arawa Street bus stop in the inner city. Staff will be there from 3pm - 5pm.

"We want to create a positive and safe environment for young people," RLC Strategic Development Manager, Rosemary Viskovic, said​.

That is one of the messages council staff will be sharing at the launch on Wednesday, along with a free sausage sizzle, banners and giveaway goodies like pens, bottles, cups and balloons.

Phase one also includes no smoking at the i-Site and library surrounds, Rotorua International Stadium, all youth spaces and all council-controlled reserves and parks. Phase two, which will start in January 2018 will include outdoor paved eating places, Eat Streat​, inner city markets and entrances and exits of public buildings and facilities.

The Smokefree Outdoor Spaces Policy has been developed in partnership with local health and community organisations with a vested interest in the policy.

"Rotorua Lakes Council was one of the first to make local parks smokefree and it's great to see the council is now extending its policy to include a wider range of public places," Toi Te Ora, Public Health Service Medical Officer of Health, Dr Phil Shoemack​ said.

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"This will help children to grow up in a smokefree community."

Healthy Families Rotorua manager Mapihi Raharuhi said one of the desired outcomes was to ultimately prevent the uptake of smoking now and in future generations by minimising the exposure to children.

"This policy is one of many strategies that can help achieve that and we're looking forward to sharing that message at the launch on Wednesday."

RLC has had a Smokefree Outdoor Spaces Policy since 2008 and in recent years there have been approaches to Council requesting an extension of the coverage areas. A 2015 survey reinforced public support and in December 2016 Council approved extending the policy to include additional smokefree zones.

New (phase one) smokefree zones launching 22 February 2017 include:

·         All bus stops and shelters

·         i-Site and library surrounds, including Jean Batten Park

·         All sports grounds

·         Rotorua International Stadium

·         All youth spaces and skate parks

·         All council-controlled reserves and parks including lakefront reserves

January 2018 (phase two) smokefree zones to include:

·         Outdoor paved eating places

·         Eat Streat

·         Markets held in the inner city

·         Entrances and exits to public buildings and facilities used by the public

Currently smokefree:

·         Council-managed Tokorangi Forest

·         Council-owned playgrounds

·         Rotorua Community Youth Centre Trust premises

·         Tennis facilities at Lynmore, Okareka and Manuka Crescent

·         Child Care Centres, including kindergartens, playcentres, creches and kohanga reo on council

reserve land and immediate surrounds

·         Public toilets

·         Smallbone Park hockey turfs and Westbrook netball courts

·         Rotary Market at Kuirau Park

·         Council workplaces

 

 - Stuff

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