Smokefree Policy

Family at Moonshine Park

Upper Hutt was the first Council in New Zealand to declare our parks smokefree, in 2006.

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in New Zealand, with over 5,000 New Zealanders dying every year from tobacco related disease. Non-smokers are at risk too, with 500 deaths per year estimated to be from exposure to second-hand smoke.

Once again, in 2020 we are leading the way to make Upper Hutt healthier by helping reduce smoking.

Council adopted a revised policy(PDF, 104KB) in 2020. 

Smokefree Upper Hutt Policy 

1. Introduction

Upper Hutt City Council is taking a leadership role to ensure that Upper Hutt:

  • is a healthy community;
  • has a healthy natural environment with clean air, water and land; and
  • has a built environment that is attractive, safe, and healthy.

Smokefree outdoor public places contribute toward further de-normalising smoking in Upper Hutt and achieving the goal of a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025. The Smokefree Aotearoa goal is that fewer than 5 percent of New Zealanders will be smokers by 2025. The government approach is that this will be achieved by:

  • protecting children from exposure to tobacco marketing and promotion;
  • reducing the supply of, and demand for tobacco; and
  • providing the best possible support for quitting.

2. Objectives

  • further denormalise smoking for children and young people by reducing its visibility in public places;
  • contribute to improved health and wellbeing by reducing smoking and the impacts of second-hand smoke.

3. Approach

The Smoke-free Environments Act 1990 prohibits smoking in workplaces and certain public areas, but smoking is not illegal.

Smokefree Upper Hutt contributes to making our city increasingly smokefree. The policy discourages smoking in outdoor public places in Upper Hutt primarily through signage, promotion and marketing, education, and engagement with stakeholders and communities.

4. Smokefree spaces in Upper Hutt

  1. Within 20 metres of all parks, reserves and sportsgrounds
  2. Within 20 metres of all children’s playgrounds, including skateparks
  3. Council-run or Council funded events
  4. Bus stops and shelters
  5. Train stations
  6. Within nine metres of outdoor public areas around Council buildings and facilities
  7. Outdoor dining and drinking areas on footpaths
  8. Outdoor public areas in the city centre 1
  9. Taxi ranks


1. The city centre refers to the CBD as defined by the Liquor Bylaw

5. Vaping

Vaping products, also known as e-cigarettes, are devices that produce a vapour by heating a solution (e-liquid). Council, through its publicity and communication, asks that people not vape in smokefree spaces or at smokefree events. Signage will include a ‘no vaping’ message where appropriate.

6. Implementation

The policy will be delivered as per the implementation plan, taking a cross-Council approach and working with external partners as appropriate particularly in regard to education and engagement.

The focus for signage is firstly on areas where children and families congregate or socialise, and areas where smoking rates are high. Implementation of the policy includes signage and messaging in Te Reo Māori.

For bus stops, bus shelters, and train stations, Council will work with Greater Wellington Regional Council and other partners to add and renew signage.

7. Review

The implementation of the policy will be reviewed by December 2021, with an official review of the policy by July 2023.

Implementation plan

Communication, engagement, and monitoring



Develop and deliver an internal communications plan with staff, including feedback on the staff survey, an updated staff manual, and all subsequent policies that may be impacted by this policy.

Director Community Services, Performance and Capability Manager, Chief Executive


Develop a communication plan that includes:

  • signage and messaging, to include cessation support messaging where appropriate
  • identification of opportunities and channels for smokefree messaging
  • identification and utilisation of placement opportunities for signage and messaging
  • plan for an annual billboard and social media campaign for World Smokefree Day
  • development and execution of engagement with tamariki and rangatahi
  • development and execution of a campaign for a Smokefree Summer for 2020

Director Community Services, Director Business Services and Customer Engagement


Sept 2020

Establish an implementation plan group to support the implementation of the policy


Director Community Services

Aug 2020

Develop monitoring, review and evaluation of the policy

Director Community Services, Director Business Services and Customer Engagement

July 2021

Contribute to engagement with central government for strengthened smokefree legislation and vaping regulation


Director of Community Services


As required

Partnerships and collaboration


Explore opportunities to work with neighbouring councils and partners on smokefree activities and communication


Director Community Services

Sept 2020

Further development of partnerships with:

  • the education sector for smokefree areas outside out education settings
  • Orongomai Marae
  • other groups that support Maori cessation services linking to employers for increased voluntary smokefree spaces
  • community groups having smoking cessation and health promotion specifically as part of their kaupapa
  • participation in regional tobacco control interest groups
  • health sector partners, including medical centres and pharmacies

Director Community Services


Smokefree areas and events

Review signage for parks and playgrounds and add or renew signage

Director Asset Management and Operations

August 2020

Work with Greater Wellington Regional Council to designate bus shelters and train stations smokefree

Director Community Services


Work with businesses to designate outdoor pavement dining and drinking areas smokefree

Director Community Services, Director Asset Management and Operations and Director Business Services and Customer Engagement

August 2020

Work to make Council-run and funded events smokefree

All teams that are responsible for events


Designate outdoor public areas around Council buildings smokefree, including the civic centre

Director of Community Services

Sept 2020

Cessation support

Help link smokers to cessation support

Performance and Capability Manager and team

Sept 2020