No more smoking is the aim - and a new Whangarei District Council policy which could lead to further bans on public smoking may be part of getting there.
WDC has reaffirmed its commitment to the Government's 2025 Smokefree Vision through a new "district-wide" smokefree policy, which would aim for no more than 5 per cent of people smoking in 10 years' time.
WDC department manager community services Owen Thomas said it was difficult to pre-empt what the policy would look like, although part of it would be consolidating several smoke-free policies into one.
However, Mayor Sheryl Mai told the Northern Advocate last month that options could include educative bans at the Town Basin, Cameron St Mall and eventually, all other public spaces.
"Yes, this may create problems for current and visiting smokers, and I would make no apology for that," she said. "There would still be places they can smoke. However, we want to encourage them to give it away and come and play with the rest of us who are enjoying Whangarei's lifestyle and attractions to the fullest."
At Wednesday's council meeting, Councillor Brian McLachlan said he also would like to see WDC lobby central government for a ban on the sale of cigarettes, though this was rejected by fellow councillors.
Cr Shelley Deeming saw things differently and said council was beginning to set itself up as "the arbiter of what is a good choice" by removing all possible vice.
"People do need the opportunity to make their own choices," she said.