Council, 25 June 2009.

Explanatory note:

Policy updated 25 June 2015.

On 25 June 2015 the Council resolved to extend the smoke-free policy to principal entrances and exits of Council buildings and facilities, and to Council bus passenger shelters.  The extended policy comes into effect on 1 January 2016.


By focusing on public outdoor locations, the Council will send a positive message that our children and young people’s health and the environment (i.e. litter and fires) should be protected from the effects of smoking. Compliance with the policy would be voluntary and it would not be enforced by Council staff. The objective which the Council seeks to achieve would not unduly infringe the ability of others to smoke in outdoor public places should they want to.

Definitions and scope

There are around 580 neighbourhood parks that are generally small and provide places for informal recreation and small scale community events and facilities. They form part of a network of open space that includes walkways and cycle-ways. There are around 50 garden and heritage parks. These parks vary in size and have a significant place in our natural and cultural heritage. Garden and heritage parks also play a significant role in supporting the Garden City image of Christchurch. The Council manages around 70 regional parks that are large open spaces, mostly on the urban fringe, that protect and enhance scenic, cultural and environmental values. There are around 120 sports parks in the district. These parks, which are generally large, green areas, enable people to participate in organized sport and other forms of active and passive recreation. There are around 326 outdoor playgrounds that are generally small and provide places for recreation and play for children.


The policy will contribute to Christchurch District Community Outcomes:

  • A Healthy City
  • A City of People who Value and Protect the Natural Environment.

Relevant legislation

The Local Government Act 2002 (LGA 2002) states that one of the purposes of councils is to promote the social, economic, environment and cultural well-being of communities, in the present and for the future. Section 11 of LGA 2002 provides that the role of councils is to give effect to their purpose, and perform the duties and exercise the rights conferred on them by, or under, LGA 2002. Section 23 of the Health Act 1956 also states that it is the duty of every council to improve, promote and protect public health within its district.

Policy details

The core objective of this policy is the reduction of smoking uptake by children and young people. This policy is an educational tool to discourage smoking in public outdoor places where people, particularly children and young people, gather.

Key Policy areas

  • Council-owned Parks
  • Playgrounds
  • Reserves
  • Sports Parks
  • Gardens.

The public will be asked to refrain from smoking in Council-owned playgrounds and parks (including sports parks). Signage, as appropriate, will be displayed at parks and by playgrounds.

Council-owned events

Events owned by Council will be consistently promoted as smokefree events. The need for smokefree events would be promoted in the events team’s promotional material, public announcements at events and on screen at major events such as Classical Sparks.

Information and education

The Council will work with Smokefree Canterbury member organizations to ensure a robust communications plan is rolled out that promotes positive role modeling, will aim not to alienate smokers, and will be communicated over a long period of time to achieve a positive attitudinal and behaviour change by smokers. The Council will work with Smokefree Canterbury Members to ensure information relating to the new legislation and the health impacts of smoking and passive smoking are easily accessible to the community. Messages on signage and any communications will focus on the positive rather than the negative.

Smokefree signs will be integrated in the signs replacement/renewal programme where it is appropriate in parks, playgrounds and sports parks. For example, smokefree signs may not be appropriate in remote locations, where there is low usage and exposure of the area, or where there are other hazards which take priority over smokefree signage in the area (e.g. cliff dangers).

The policy is not a ban on smoking in a public place. No enforcement measures will be used against those who breach the policy. Introducing a policy where people can choose to comply is in the spirit of promoting health lifestyle choices.


There are no delegated authorities to apply the policy.

Associated procedure

As partners of the investigation, development and implementation of the policy, Smokefree Canterbury member organizations will be involved in the monitoring and evaluation of the policy.

Approval date

25 June 2009

Date to be reconsidered

25 June 2012


General Manager City Environment