15 Jul 2011

Council stubs out move to ban smoking on streets

5:27 am on 15 July 2011

Auckland Council has rejected a move aimed at banning smoking on city streets.

The chair of its Community Safety Forum wanted the council to look into whether it is possible to stop people lighting up in public areas of the central city.

George Wood told the forum on Thursday that smoking in the CBD is a particular problem, not just in terms of litter and pollution, but also a health concern for passive smokers.

But the majority of councillors on the forum, including Cathy Casey and Penny Webster, said smoke-free areas in the city cannot be enforced unless there is a by-law - and this is not something they want to spend money on.

Ms Casey and Ms Webster said the central city would not be perceived as fun if such a ban was in place.

Councillor Cameron Brewer said such a policy would treat smokers like lepers and would run them out of town, and there was no point introducing something that cannot be enforced.

Meanwhile, the Auckland District Health Board is considering refusing to hire smokers.

The board, which has more than 10,000 employees, has instructed management to draw up a proposal exploring the option.