Hutt Valley’s first smoke-free town centre

Non-tradable goods and services increased two per cent on the back of cigarette and tobacco prices

Non-tradable goods and services increased two per cent on the back of cigarette and tobacco prices

Scott Court in Stokes Valley has become the Hutt Valley’s first smoke-free town centre and one of the first suburban shopping areas across the country after Hutt City Council’s Smoke-free Outdoor Public Places Policy.

When the policy was extended in 2016, exploring smoke-free town centres were identified as the next step towards creating a smoke-free Lower Hutt. Stokes Valley was one of the areas chosen as it coincides with the opening of the Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub in October 2017.

“Making Scott Court smoke-free is another step Hutt City Council is taking towards the Government’s goal of becoming smoke-free by 2025,’ said Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace.

“Council is taking a leadership role in the community’s health and wellbeing by having a policy that supports smokers to quit while raising a smoke-free generation.”

Over the next nine months, Hutt City Council staff will focus on shopping centres in the CBD, Jackson Street, Taita, Naenae, Moera and Queen Street, Wainuiomata. These centres have been prioritised as they either have high foot traffic or high rates of smoking.

In 2018/19, the council will explore designating areas in the remaining suburban shopping centres within Lower Hutt as smoke-free areas.

Chair of the Youth Council Ellen Jackman, attended the meeting and supports the decision.

“The Youth Council fully supports the decision to make Scott Court smoke-free,” said chair of the Youth Council, Ellen Jackman. “While there is still work needed to put the policy into action, there is a general belief that this change will positively benefit the community and create a safe and family/youth friendly space.”

Council staff engaged with retailers and businesses about creating a smoke-free Scott Court. Several businesses commented during the process that good signage and promotion would be needed to show the area is smoke-free.

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