Cantabrians loving the fresher air

The preliminary results of New Zealand’s first ever smokefree outdoor dining pilot show that an overwhelming majority of Cantabrians support smokefree outdoor dining. 

The six-month Fresh Air pilot, which started in November last year, supported 20 Canterbury hospitality venues to make their outdoor dining areas completely smokefree.

Martin Witt from the Cancer Society says that over 95% of the 1,861 customers who gave feedback on the pilot supported smokefree outdoor dining. 

“The results show that customers love being able to enjoy their coffee or meal in a completely smokefree environment,” says Martin. 

“We thought that most Cantabrians would support smokefree outdoor dining, but even we’ve been surprised how much appetite there is for it.” 

Feedback received from patrons also showed that nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) said they were more likely to visit the venue again because their outdoor area was smokefree. 

Martin says that as well as benefiting patrons, the pilot has been great for the businesses involved. After six months, no venue has reported a decrease in customers, and many venues have commented that being completely smokefree has been good for business. 

“Happy customers mean happy cafes. It’s telling that all of the eighteen venues that completed the pilot have chosen to stay completely smokefree, and all agreed that other hospitality venues should go smokefree too.” 

Jennifer Kippenberger from Under the Red Verandah says becoming completely smokefree has been a really positive experience.  

“Going smokefree has been good for business, and staying smokefree is a bit of a no brainer. Most feedback has been really good, with literal pats on the back from customers who like the more family friendly environment,” says Jenniffer.

After some initial reservations, Laneway Espresso owner Stuart Winter says he’s proud to now be completely smokefree.

“Making our outdoor courtyard smokefree was the right thing to do. Being 100 per cent smokefree is now the norm for us and I encourage others to make the move too,” says Stu.

Councillor Glenn Livingstone says the results send a clear signal that people want more smokefree places.

 “Looking ahead, I want our new city to be a really liveable city, attractive to all who live here, work here or visit. My hope is that more and more hospitality venues will see that being totally smokefree is a really positive move, both for their business, their customers and for our city,” says Cr Livingstone.

Of the twenty cafes who initially signed up the six month Fresh Air pilot, eighteen completed it. One café exited the pilot after five months when it was sold, while another venue withdrew at the commencement of the pilot.

 The hospitality venues that completed the Fresh Air pilot, and who have choosen to stay smokefree, are

  1. Addington Coffee Co-operative
  2. Antigua Boatsheds
  3. Café 186
  4. Café Metro St Albans
  5. Café Metro Ferrymead
  6. Café Metro Merivale
  7. Coffee Culture Merivale
  8. Coffee Culture Sumner
  9. Emperor’s New Clothes
  10. Ilex Café at the Botanical Gardens
  11. Joes Garage Sumner
  12. Laneway Espresso
  13. Local at Riccarton House
  14. Oddfellows
  15. Raspberry Café
  16. Robert Harris Rolleston
  17. Savoire Café and Wine Bar
  18. Under the Red Verandah 

For more information, and for support to become a smokefree venue, visit

For further information contact Donovan Ryan, Great Scott! Communications, 0273 444011 or email