Kropp calls for smoke­free beaches

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

For Bron­wyn Kropp, the fi­nal straw was hav­ing ash flicked on her pa­per­back.

The Porirua City coun­cil­lor was re­lax­ing on a packed area of sand at Kare­hana Bay, Plim­mer­ton, last sum­mer, when a woman sat down near her, smok­ing a cig­a­rette.

‘‘She was no more than a me­tre away and her smoke and ash was all over me,’’ Kropp said.

‘‘ I have asthma and was cough­ing up a storm be­cause of it. I came to the beach to en­joy the sun, feel the breeze and read my book and I had to put up with this.’’

At the end of the coun­cil’s Te Komiti meet­ing two weeks ago, Kropp raised the is­sue of declar­ing Porirua’s beaches smoke­free.

Coun­cil of­fi­cers will pre­pare a re­port on what it would take to achieve it.

Kropp said she hoped it was some­thing that gath­ered sup­port among her col­leagues and the public. Liquor and dogs were banned from cer­tain parts of Porirua, so smok­ing could be in­cluded, she said.

‘‘We [the coun­cil] have chil­dren and young peo­ple as the cen­tral part of our de­ci­sion-mak­ing and this step [ to ban smok­ing] is an­other ex­am­ple of us be­ing a pos­i­tive leader for change.’’

Kropp said the city’s parks and sports fields were al­ready des­ig­nated smoke­free ar­eas and it was not a huge stretch to make beaches the same. There is no prece­dent for smoke­free beaches in New Zealand, although Kropp un­der­stood Auck­land Coun­cil was look­ing at it.

She is op­ti­mistic of sup­port from Smoke­free New Zealand and Re­gional Public Health and said slap­ping the dis­tinc­tive smoke­free la­bels on to ex­ist­ing coun­cil sig­nage would not be oner­ous.

‘‘This is yet an­other way we can de-nor­malise smok­ing in our com­mu­nity. Along with the health is­sues about the harm smok­ing can cause, there is the fact the cig­a­rette fil­ters do not break down, so it be­comes an en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sue.’’

As far as polic­ing a non­smok­ing by­law went, smok­ing at Porirua’s parks was not rig­or­ously en­forced, Kropp said, but had be­come widely known and dis­cour­aged.

Gary Simp­son, the coun­cil’s chief ex­ec­u­tive, said though parks and re­serves were coun­cil prop­erty, beaches were not.

How­ever, it was a good ‘‘as­pi­ra­tional aim’’ and pol­icy ob­jec­tive for the coun­cil, he said, and he was in­ter­ested in see­ing the of­fi­cers’ re­port.

A spokes­woman for the re­gional coun­cil said that although much of the beach area was un­der its con­trol, smoke­free beaches was more a health is­sue than an en­vi­ron­men­tal one.

She said lo­cal au­thor­i­ties should take the lead on it.

Porirua City coun­cil­lor Bron­wyn Kropp would love to see the city’s beaches des­ig­nated smoke­free ar­eas.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.