News | 11 November 2016

Gasp! Our smoky past comes to life in a bus stop – Sunday 13 November, Courtenay Place

There once was a time in New Zealand when Prime Ministers lit up, sportspeople had a half-time ciggie and it was perfectly OK to smoke in hospitals.


This Sunday afternoon such gasp-worthy smoking moments from the past will be brought to life on a public bus stop on Courtenay Place (Paramount side) - an artistic illustration commissioned by Wellington City Council.

This activation is all part of the Council’s next phase of smokefree communications to remind the public about new areas across the city that have been designated smokefree under the Council’s Smokefree Action Plan. The new smokefree areas include all public bus stops, Civic Square, the Botanic Garden, Waitangi Park, Council housing, Council-operated community centres, pools, recreation centres, building entrances and designated laneways.

The Courtenay Place bus stop has been strategically chosen as an ideal location to communicate the smokefree message – it’s a busy spot at all times of the week – but especially at weekends.

The art illustration (by The League of Live Illustrators) will demonstrate, via a timeline of smokefree events, how attitudes to smoking have been evolving for a long time and history is filled with great examples of how far we have come.

Mayor Justin Lester says: “The artwork is a brilliant depiction, in a really public place, to show how New Zealand’s smoking culture evolved and the steps we are taking to make Wellington smokefree.”

“Wellington already has the lowest rate of smoking in New Zealand at just 10 percent and we are committed to reaching the goal of being a smokefree city by 2025. We want everyone to do their bit to get there.”

The Council’s Social Development Portfolio Leader, Councillor Brian Dawson, says: “As an ex-smoker I know it’s a lot easier to quit if smoking is less visible. Our research shows that most people who smoke want to quit. The Council’s Smokefree Action Plan is about giving our citizens the resources they need to make healthier choices.”

The bus stop activation is a follow-on from the Let’s Clear The Air campaign the Council developed for Smokefree Day earlier this year in May. The campaign is about an aspirational future vision to make the city smokefree and promote the new smokefree places.