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Article | The contribution of smokefree outdoor areas in achieving New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 goal

There needs to be more commitment by local government to help achieve central government’s Smokefree 2025 goal, this new University of Otago research shows.

The research, just published in the Health Promotion Journal of Australia, examined the 239 draft consultation and supporting documents for Long Term Plans in the Canterbury and West Coast regions for 2015, together with 5,926 public submissions to determine the extent of action plans for smokefree.

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Issues addressed

With the adoption of Smokefree 2025, further commitment from local government to extend smokefree outdoor area policies is becoming increasingly important in the presence of high public support. The aim of this study was to identify local government commitment in the Canterbury/West Coast (CWC) region to the New Zealand Smokefree 2025 goal through provision of smokefree outdoor areas.


Document analysis of the different stages of council long-term plans (LTPs) was undertaken, including 239 draft LTP documents, 5926 public submissions on these documents and 13 final LTP documents. A comparison between the 2015 final document and the 2012 final document was undertaken. Following this, semistructured telephone interviews were undertaken with council staff.


No council had referred to Smokefree 2025 or smokefree community spaces in any 2015 LTP draft document. Each of the CWC councils received a number of smokefree-related submissions, with the main theme being the extension of current Smokefree Outdoor Area Policy. The final LTP documents showed that 5 councils had included a brief statement about Smokefree 2025. Smokefree issues were mentioned more often in the 2012 LTP compared to the 2015 LTP.


This research highlights a need for more commitment by local government to achieving the Smokefree 2025 goal. So what? There are opportunities for health groups to work with councils to try and enhance their overall commitment to Smokefree 2025 and promote wellbeing.


Murad, M., Marsh, L., McGee, R. (2018) The contribution of smokefree outdoor areas in achieving New Zealand’s Smokefree 2025 goal. Health Promot J Austral.

For more information please contact:
Louise Marsh
University of Otago


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