In what is believed to be a New Zealand first, TOP 10 Holiday Park Russell has declared the property smoke-free.

The popular holiday park in the Bay of Islands will be an entirely smoke-free zone from 31 May, coinciding with World Smoke Free Day.

Next Generation Holiday Parks, who manage the property, said the initiative supports the New Zealand Government’s goal of a smoke-free country by 2025.

Chief executive officer Daniel Tilton said his company feels strongly about the smoke-free policy.

“In the six months we have been managing the park, we have had very strong feedback from our guests supporting a smoke-free holiday destination,” he said.

“Our guests want to enjoy our campsites and facilities, such as the camp kitchen and the playground, without themselves and their children being affected by second-hand smoke.

“Society in general is becoming very health conscious and we need to move with this and support the health and comfort of our guests.”

Tilton said the move is also based on environmental factors. “We have native wildlife throughout our park and they are eating cigarette butts.

“It’s harmful to the environment, it’s harmful to animals and it detracts from the visual amenity of the park.”

Chief executive officer at Holiday Accommodation Parks Association New Zealand, Fergus Brown, said he is delighted that TOP 10 Russell is taking the plunge into the smoke-free zone.

“I applaud Russell TOP 10 for their smoke-free park initiative. Hopefully other parks will follow suit and we strongly support and encourage them in doing so.”

These sentiments were echoed by Tourism Industry Association chief executive, Chris Roberts.

“The move will offer Russell Top 10 a competitive point of difference that will appeal to many holidaymakers, as well as being good for people’s health and the environment. I encourage other tourism operators to consider whether their particular circumstances would allow them to follow the Russell TOP 10 Holiday Park’s lead.”

Tilton said he is proud that Russell TOP 10 is believed to be the first holiday park in the country to go smoke-free.

“It’s something we are certainly very happy to pioneer and we look forward to others joining the ranks!”