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Lower Hutt extends smokefree areas

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 24/05/2016

Lower Hutt has become the latest city to extend its range of smokefree areas.

Playgrounds and council swimming pools in Lower Hutt were already smokefree but a Hutt City Council meeting on Wednesday approved spending $14,000 a year on signage which covers new areas.

The ban will now extend to parks, skateparks, bus shelters, train stations, beaches, council-run events and outdoor dining areas on pavements.

It also wants to look at making designated areas in town centres smokefree.

Regulatory and policy committee chairwoman Margaret Cousins earlier pointed out banning smoking at sports grounds could send smokers on to the street, potentially setting up clashes with neighbours.

She wants designated smoking areas to be allowed at such grounds.

Council staff have said they don't have the legislative right to enforce fines - no fine figure appears to have been set - but councillors also voted to work with Local Government NZ to lobby the government for powers to enforce the smokefree areas.

Staff say the enforcement is not practical or cost-effective but it will depend on good promotion.

Last month, Wellington City Council decided to extend its smoking ban to the Civic Square, bus stops, the Botanical Gardens, council housing, council operated community centres, pools and recreation centres.

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