Smokefree policy

Auckland Council approved a smokefree policy in 2013 aimed at making public outdoor spaces smokefree across the Auckland region.

A smokefree city is part of the Auckland Plan and it aligns with the government's goal of becoming a smokefree nation by 2025.

The policy is aimed at improving the health and well-being of Auckland’s communities by reducing the prevalence of smoking and de-normalising smoking behaviour.

The policy does not ban smoking. Instead, the policy is promoted through education and awareness, and uses signage and other forms of communication. The success of the policy relies on social pressure to comply.

Why council should get involved

The well-being of all Aucklanders is critical to creating a better future for Auckland and New Zealand.

Councils have an important role in the public health activities of their communities. They are in a unique position because of their ability to communicate with the public.

The Auckland Plan says that the well-being of children and young people are:

  • the top priority and
  • a guiding principle of the council’s Smokefree Policy.

Being smokefree shows children that smoking is not a 'normal' activity. This will reduce the likelihood of them starting to smoke.

Creating smokefree public places helps by:

  • reducing the visibility of smoking, which otherwise contributes to smoking initiation
  • de-normalising smoking, especially smoking in front of children
  • supporting former smokers to remain smokefree
  • encouraging people to quit smoking.

The council's role is to promote and advocate for, the health and well-being of their communities.

National legislation does not currently allow the council to issue infringement fines for non-compliance of the policy. So, if we put a no smoking bylaw in place, prosecution would be the enforcement measure.

Smokefree areas

Under the policy, we use a phased approach to create smokefree public places. Some areas would become smokefree over a period of time.

Current smokefree outdoor areas

  • All parks and reserves
  • Playgrounds
  • Skate parks
  • Sports fields
  • Public outdoor areas associated with the council, including:
    • Service centres
    • Local board offices
    • Libraries
    • Stadiums
    • Swimming pools
    • Community facilities and halls
    • Museums
    • Zoo
    • Leisure, recreation and arts centres.
  • Train stations and platforms, bus stations and shelters, and ferry terminals.

Future smokefree areas planned

  • Plazas, civic squares, shared spaces
  • The areas around sports clubs (i.e. clubs on council land not already covered by the public places above)
  • Al fresco dining areas
  • Urban centres
  • Public beaches
  • Common areas of council housing.

Smokefree indoor areas

The smokefree policy does not cover smoking in indoor areas. This is regulated at a national level by the Smokefree Environments Act 1990.

For complaints about smoking indoors, contact the Auckland Regional Public Health enforcement officers at 09 623 4600.

Policy review 2016

The scheduled review of the policy was completed in July 2016.

The review found that the policy framework and intent are generally sound and well supported by stakeholders. However, implementation has been gradual and fragmented. It hindered the policy's effectiveness in meeting its purpose and objectives.

Review of Auckland Council’s Smokefree Policy 2013 Findings Report - July 2016 (PDF 1.9MB)

At the Regional Strategy and Policy Committee meeting on 4 August 2016, the results of the review were presented to councillors for a decision to be made.

The committee directed staff to:

  • progress a "revision of the existing smokefree policy, strengthening our existing policy framework and intent to 2025, with a more targeted demographic approach and a greater emphasis on more effective implementation".
  • "commence the statutory process for investigating a draft smokefree bylaw to complement the council's smokefree policy".

The Social Policy and Bylaws unit is responding to these decisions and will report back to elected members in July/August 2017.

Your feedback helps us to improve our website. If you have feedback about our services (not the website), please contact us.