In October 2018, Hutt City Council endorsed the recommendation from the Wainuiomata Community Board to designate Queen Street as smokefree. Wainuiomata will be Lower Hutt’s second smokefree town centre after Stokes Valley’s Scott Court became smokefree in October 2017.
This is the result of over a year’s worth of community engagement and consultation done in partnership with the Wainiuomata Community Board, Regional Public Health, Takiri Mai Te Ata Regional Stop Smoking Service, the Wainuiomata community hub and Healthy Families Lower Hutt.
Engagement included a wide range of activity from public surveys, local school students to designing smokefree messaging and putting up signage in bus shelters, to local media sharing a series of smokefree related stories featuring the local people taking action to promote smokefree environments.
Healthy Families Lower Hutt is now leading conversations and engagement with communities in Petone and Naenae about making Jackson Street and Naenae town centre smokefree.
“Hutt City Council is proud to have one of the most comprehensive smokefree policies in New Zealand” says Lower Hutt Mayor, Ray Wallace. “Council is taking a leadership role in the community’s health and wellbeing. This policy is not about persecuting people who smoke. This is a positive approach to encourage people not to light up in public”.
Making Queen Street smokefree has had significant community support with a survey conducted in 2017 showing that 82% of the respondents supported Queen Street becoming smokefree with 62% showing support for other parts of Wainuiomata becoming smokefree too.
Young people (10-16 years) were the strongest supporters with 90.63% of the respondents wanting Queen Street to be smokefree.
Smokefree places are important because we know that children ‘do as they see’ and we want to make smoking less normal by making it less visible to our young people and children. They also make it easier for smokers to quit and stay smokefree.
To achieve collective impact the Wainuiomata Community Board, Healthy Families Lower Hutt, Regional Public Health, Kōkiri Marae Health and Social Services and Hutt City Council are continuing to work with the community and stakeholders to find innovative ways to raise awareness that Queen Street is now smokefree, and support local people to quit.
Support is available to those that would like to begin their journey to quit smoking through the Regional Stop Smoking Service Tākiri Mai Te Ata on 0800 926 257 or Quitline on 0800 778 778
Imagine if Lower Hutt was smokefree, we were not exposed to second-hand smoke and smoking was not visible to our children.