Nikki Preston

Nikki Preston is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Smoking ban in Hamilton to be self policing

A move to ban smoking in designated public spaces in Hamilton will rely on people's 'moral consciences' to make it work. Photo / NZ Herald
A move to ban smoking in designated public spaces in Hamilton will rely on people's 'moral consciences' to make it work. Photo / NZ Herald

A move to ban smoking in designated public spaces in Hamilton will rely on people's "moral consciences" to make it work.

Hamilton City Council's strategy and policy committee yesterday signalled preference for a self-policing policy to make all council-owned facilities, children's playgrounds and smoking hot spots - Garden Place and Hamilton Transport Centre - smoke-free zones.

Council's strategy and research manager Tegan McIntyre recommended introducing a policy instead of a bylaw which allowed people to be penalised because of the difficulties of enforcement. The city employed only one bylaw officer to look after 17 bylaws.

The proposed policy targeted areas like Garden Place where council staff could have a high-level of control and appeal to people's "moral conscience", she said.

Other areas such as outdoor dining areas, Hood St and sports fields and reserves could be added once the policy was introduced.

Councillors asked for more information around banning smoking in sports fields and bus stops before making a final decision about what would be included in the final policy at tomorrow's full council meeting.

But Elaine Hickel, who owns Embargo Restaurant in Garden Place, queried how the policy would work as legally restaurants had to provide a designated smoking area, so by following the policy they would be breaking the law. A review is to be carried out six months from when the policy is introduced.

- NZ Herald

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