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.
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 Smokefreedining@wcc.govt.nz
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.