Scott Court is Hutt's first smokefree town centre
Scott Court in Stokes Valley has become the Hutt Valley’s first smokefree town centre. Hutt City Council officially designated the space smokefree at a Council meeting on 10 October 2017. As well as being the first in the Hutt Valley, Scott Court will become one of the first suburban shopping areas across the country thanks to Hutt City Council’s Smokefree Outdoor Public Places Policy.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace says “Making Scott Court smokefree is another step Hutt City Council is taking towards the Government’s goal of becoming smokefree by 2025. Council is taking a leadership role in the community’s health and wellbeing by having a policy that supports smokers to quit while raising a smokefree generation.”
Children ‘do as they see’ so we want to make smoking less normal and visible, smokefree places help us achieve this. Smokefree places also support smokers who are trying to quit as the sight and smell of others smoking can make it hard to stay smokefree.
When the policy was extended in 2016, exploring smokefree town centres were identified as the next step towards creating a smokefree Lower Hutt. Stokes Valley was one of the areas chosen as it supports the rejuvenation work Council is doing to coincide with the opening of the Koraunui Stokes Valley Community Hub in October 2017.
Chair of the Youth Council Ellen Jackman, attended the meeting and supports the decision. "The Youth Council fully supports the decision to make Scott Court smokefree. While there is still work needed to put the policy into action, there is a general belief that this change will positively benefit the community and create a safe and family/youth friendly space."
Northern Ward Councillors Gwen McDonald and Leigh Sutton are right behind the change, “We’re proud that Stokes Valley is the first place in Lower Hutt to have a smokefree town centre. It will make Scott Court a more enjoyable place to work and visit which is great for our community.”
Council staff engaged with retailers and businesses about creating a smokefree Scott Court. Several businesses commented that good signage and promotion would be needed to show the area is smokefree.
Over the next nine months, Council staff will focus on shopping centres in the CBD, Jackson Street, Taita, Naenae, Moera and Queen Street, Wainuiomata. These centres have been prioritised as they either have high foot traffic or high rates of smoking.
In 2018/19, Council will explore designating areas in the remaining suburban shopping centres within Lower Hutt as smokefree areas.