A cigarette butt in the playground in Mornington, Dunedin.
Photo by Craig Baxter.
The Dunedin City Council and the smoke-free lobby are
hoping peer pressure will stub out smoking in the city's
A joint campaign by the council, the Cancer Society, Otago
Polytechnic and the Southern District Health Board will get
smoke-free signs installed from early next month at about 20
of the city's 113 playgrounds.
Council parks manager Lisa Wheeler said Smokefree Otago had
been lobbying for many years to make playgrounds smoke-free,
but the council had struggled with the proposal because of
She said a compromise was agreed after the group met council
chief executive Paul Orders about six months ago.
They agreed the effort would be purely educational and the
council would contribute $5000 from its parks budget. The
Southern DHB and the Cancer Society would contribute $2500
each for printing and installing the A3 signs, which would be
designed and made by the polytechnic.
Three design options were presented to the community, the
Early Childhood Liaison Group and the Well Child Group for
feedback, and more than 300 responses were received.
The signs will be installed at larger playgrounds and smaller
signs, provided free from the Health Promotion Agency, will
be placed at small neighbourhood playgrounds.
Cancer Society Otago and Southland Division health promotion
manager Penelope Scott said children were influenced by what
they saw adults doing. The signs, while not policy, were a
She hoped the signs would outline an expectation and support
people in pointing out to smokers that the area was
Playgrounds in most major cities were smoke-free and the
groups would continue to push the council to make smoke-free
playgrounds a policy, she said.