Mayor Len Brown is applauding a council committee’s decision today to investigate a bylaw to make smoking in designated open spaces in Auckland illegal.
Auckland Council already has the country’s most comprehensive smokefree policy, however the time has come to take a more proactive and regulatory approach, says Mayor Brown.
“There has been a reduction of smoking in this city, which I think is partly due to our policy, and public opinion is on our side to give that policy more grunt and show some strong leadership in this regard.
“But we can do more, and better, and an investigation of a bylaw could see us determine the outdoor spaces where smoking would be banned, which really excites me and which fits with our vision to be the world’s most liveable city.”
Landmark policy step
Health organisations, including the Cancer Society and Hāpai te Hauora, addressed the committee urging it to “do the right thing: and make a “landmark policy step”.
Cities around the world are opting for a regulatory approach. In Australia several states and territories already have smokefree laws for outdoor dining areas.
Investigation to include public consultation
The bylaw option was one of four presented to the council’s Regional Strategy and Policy Committee as a result of a review of the smokefree policy adopted in 2013. As well as deciding to investigate a bylaw the committee also decided to strengthen its existing policy framework including targeting demographic groups.
The bylaw investigation will be in accordance with the Local Government Act 2002 and will involve research, stakeholder engagement, legal review and approval, full public consultation and hearings and public deliberations.