Smokefree Wellington

“Kia wātea te ātea” – me auahi kore a Pōneke.

Smokefree and vapefree in hospitality venues from 1 March 2023 

Wellington hospitality venues with outdoor dining on Council land will become smokefree and vapefree from 1 March 2023. 

This means if you have an outdoor dining area that extends onto the footpath, this area will now become smokefree and vapefree.  

Operators can still have outdoor dining areas, but customers will no longer be able to smoke or vape. Operators will be required to remove all ashtrays from outdoor furniture and provide smokefree signage. 

This change is in support of the government’s goal of becoming a Smokefree Aotearoa 2025, so that by 2025 fewer than 5% of New Zealanders will smoke.  

The Council’s contribution to reaching the Smokefree Aotearoa goal is focused on making public places smokefree and having smokefree events in the city.  

For businesses 

Staff and owners of venues with outdoor dining areas will be responsible for enforcing this change from 1 March 2023. Council staff will also be available to provide support and guidance for enforcement. 

If your venue has smoking areas on private land (such as a balcony or backyard or an area not on Council owned land) then this change will not apply to you.

The Council can provide businesses with smokefree and vapefree resources to display in their venue. For printed or digital resources, any questions or further clarity regarding this change, please get in touch at

Trading and Events in Public Places Policy (2021) 

The change to outdoor dining areas becoming mandatory smokefree and vapefree from 1 March 2023 is part of the Trading and Events in Public Places Policy.  

This policy was adopted by Council in November 2021 and came into force July 2022, a new requirement of this policy is 8.3 Auahi kore – mandatory smokefree and vapefree. 

In February 2022, the Wellington City Mayor and Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the 2022 Pandemic Response Plan, aimed at supporting struggling businesses being affected by Covid-19.  

The mandatory Smokefree and vapefree enforcement was set to begin on 1 July 2022. But Council decided to hold off on the enforcing of the new smokefree and vapefree regulation until 1 March 2023 due to businesses still recovering from the aftermath of Covid-19.

Read the full Trading and Events in Public Places Policy. 

You can find section 8.3 Auahi kore – mandatory smokefree and vapefree on page 16 of the policy.  

Smokefree Wellington Action Plan

Smokefree areas in Wellington

See below the areas across Wellington that are now smokefree. 

Some private land across the city is also smokefree, like Victoria University – these are set by businesses and land owners. 

Additional smokefree areas are set by the Smokefree Environments and Regulated Products Act 1990. This Act means that all schools and early childhood centres, hospitality venues, and indoor workplaces are smokefree and vapefree.

If you smoke it’s your choice, but please avoid the smokefree areas. Also, please don’t vape in the smokefree areas or at smokefree events.

Area Where
All beaches All the sandy beaches around the coastline of Wellington City (effective from September 2019)
All playgrounds
Across Wellington City
All skate parks
Across Wellington City
All sports parks (including artificial sports fields) Includes Newtown Park, Rugby League Park and the National Hockey Stadium
Bolton Street Cemetery
Bolton Street
Bus stops Includes all bus shelters across the Wellington City
Cable Car Lane
From the entrance on Lambton Quay
Civic Precinct and Civic Square (including all public entrances) All public entrance ways out to 10 meters
Entrances to all branch libraries All public entrance ways out to 10 meters
Entrances to all council community centres All public entrance ways out to 10 meters
Entrances to all recreation centres
All public entrance ways out to 10 meters
Entrances to all swimming pools
All public entrance ways out to 10 meters
Grey Street pocket park
The pedestrian area between Grey Street and Lambton Quay (taking effect when it reopens after redevelopment, May or June 2019)
Includes Eva Street, Leeds Street, Egmont Street and parts of Chew’s Lane 
Midland Park
Lambton Quay, Wellington Central
Otari-Wilton's Bush
Wilton Road, Wilton
Truby King Park
Manchester Street, Melrose
Waitangi Park
Cable Street, Te Aro
Wellington Botanic Gardens Glenmore Street, Kelburn
Wellington Zoo Daniel Street, Newtown
Zealandia Waiapu Rd, Karori

Free outdoor dining licences

If you go smokefree, outdoor dining licences are free.

The Council 'Attitudes toward smoking in Wellington – Report on the 2018 smokefree survey' has a lot of information about what people think about smoking at outdoor dining and bar venues. Most non-smokers say they avoid areas that allow smoking.

Attitudes towards smoking in Wellington – Report on the 2018 smokefree survey (1MB PDF)

Ready to quit smoking?

You don’t have to do it alone. There are free services that can help.


Quitline services offer 24/7 online, text and phone support.

Call the Quitline on 0800 778 778

Quitline website

Tākiri Mai te Ata Regional stop smoking service

Tākiri Mai te Ata Regional stop smoking service provides a free face-to-face stop smoking service for anyone in the Wellington Region. 

Call the free 24 hour phone line 0800 926 257 or join their Facebook page and they will contact you.

Takiri Mai Te Ata Regional Stop Smoking Service website

Takiri Mai Te Ata Regional Stop Smoking Service – Facebook page

Benefits include:

  • intensive one-on-one support with a NZQA qualified ‘quit coach’
  • home visits, workplace support and community clinics (they will customise their support to fit around you)
  • free access to nicotine replacement therapy (patches, lozenges and gum)
  • information about other quit smoking products and services
  • a complementary approach to the Quitline services that also offers 24/7 online, text, and phone support.

Smokefree stickers

Need free smokefree stickers for your business? Fill in the form below.

Order smokefree stickers