Push for Capital's Midland Park to go Smokefree

5 May 2014

One of the Capital’s most popular inner-city parks, and a haven for many workers on their lunch breaks, could soon be free of tobacco smoke.

Midland Park will be given a facelift in time for summer

Midland Park

Wellington City Council is proposing that Midland Park becomes smokefree on 31 May - World Smokefree Day - to improve the environs for people who don’t smoke and help those who want to stop. 

The move aims to improve the experience in one of Wellington CBD’s most recognised landmarks and publicly used open spaces.

Over 80 percent of people in Wellington do not smoke tobacco, and Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says the initiative sends the right message on World Smokefree Day.

“Midland Park is a great place for a short break from work or shopping and to meet friends and would be a great place for another smokefree outdoor area in Wellington, clear of cigarette butts and harmful smoke wafting around over peoples’ lunches,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.

The proposal for a smokefree Midland Park is supported by Wellington City Council in partnership with the Cancer Society, The Smokefree Coalition and Regional Public Health.

The Council adopted a Smokefree Parks and Playgrounds Policy in June 2012 after extensive consultation.

Councillor Paul Eagle, Chair of the Community, Sport and Recreation Committee, says: “Wellingtonians have overwhelmingly told us that they love our parks and playgrounds being smokefree – and now is the right time to extend this to our inner city green spaces.”

The move would be a non-regulatory change and signage and promotion of the change would be used to demonstrate the benefits of smokefree outdoor areas.

Letters have been sent to surrounding retailers and businesses asking for their views on the proposals, and the City Council is calling for public comment on the proposal by emailing Alexandra.Grace@wcc.govt.nz