New Zealand chef de mission Dave Currie refuses to get hot under the collar over designated smoking areas inside the London Olympics athletes village.

Currie admits he was surprised when he learnt that the puffing zones had been set aside.

The move is a change from Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, the two other Olympics where he has headed the New Zealand team.

It was an issue he could have raised with his counterparts, but in the end "the pragmatist in me" took over.

In an ideal world, Curry says the areas wouldn't exist, but it was better than having people going off for a secret puff.

"My experience has been in every village of 16,000 people, some people smoke," he said.

"You normally find furtive corners and piles of cigarette butts at odd places."

Currie said none of the areas was by the New Zealand part of the village, something he would have complained about.

NZ Newswire