Kate Cherven, 23, moved to Mairangi Bay last year from St Petersburg, Florida, in the US.
She made a written submission to the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board, and was invited to speak to a hearing panel about her ideas.
Making the Bays smoke free is a cause close to Cherven’s heart.
She works for the Cancer Society and her grandmother, a heavy smoker, died a year ago from lung cancer.
“It’s just crazy, it’s almost 2015 and there’s still a smoking problem,” Cherven said.
“It was kind of funny to me that being smokefree wasn’t top priority,” she said.
Auckland Council’s smokefree policy was introduced in 2013, with smoking banned at outdoor facilities such as playgrounds, skate parks, stadiums and bus stops.
But Hibiscus and Bays Local Board chairwoman, Julia Parfitt, said no funding was given to boards to implement the policy.
“It’s something that has been brought in across the region, but virtually no-one knows about it.”
The board has picked 13 high-priority sites, where it hopes to install additional smokefree signs.
Five of these are in the East Coast Bays subdivision, Browns Bay Beach Reserve, East Coast Bays Library and Village Green, Mairangi Bay playground, Mairangi Bay Park and Freyberg Park in Browns Bay.
The policy reflects the Government’s plan for the country to become completely smokefree by 2025.
Cherven said it is a “really cool, progressive idea”.
Americans are much more vocal about their opposition to smoking, she said.
“In the States if you’re standing by a smokefree sign and smoking someone will say ‘Hey, there’s a sign behind you, you shouldn’t smoke here’.
“But here you’ll walk by somebody and not say anything.”
The 2013 census showed the Hibiscus and Bays Local Board has an overall smoking rate of 9.4 per cent, placing it 17th in the region.
The youth smoking rate is 5 per cent, which means the board is ranked 12th in the region.
– North Shore Times