New pool safety legislation came into effect on 1 January 2017. The Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 repealed the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987.
The Amendment Act includes new pool safety provisions in the Building Act 2004 and creates clause F9 Restricting access to residential pools.
Under these rules all swimming pools must:
These requirements apply to pools with a depth of 400 mm or more.
Councils are required to inspect swimming pools barriers at least every three years. We will contact you in writing to arrange an inspection at your property. You will need to have an adult present for this inspection however if that’s impractical please let us know and we will arrange another appointment.
The new law no longer requires spa pools to be fenced. Spa pools can use lockable lids as a barrier as long as:
Your responsibilities as a pool owner have changed. Pool safety barriers are now regulated by Section 162 (A to E) of the Building Act 2004 and the new clause F9 Restricting access to residential pools which took effect from 1 January 2017.
The new Act requires that Council inspect pool barriers at least every three years to make sure they comply. So we will need to inspect all pool safety barriers in this scheduled inspection programme even if they’ve previously been inspected and approved.
If your pool has a minimum water depth of 400mm, it must have safety barriers.
Barriers aren’t needed:
Pool safety barriers must fully enclose the pool or the “immediate pool area” and must prevent young children from going directly into the pool or pool area from the house, other buildings, or other parts of the property. A boundary fence may suffice as a pool fence, providing it meets compliance requirements and there is nothing on the other side (neighbours’ side) of the fence, such as close horizontal or angled rails, a stack of firewood or trellis that a small child could use to climb over the fence.
Yes you can, as long as:
The wall of a building may form part of the pool safety barrier if it complies with the requirements of Clause F9 of the New Zealand Building Code.
The immediate pool area is the area that is directly related to the use of the pool and may include a pump shed, change rooms, decking or paving, pool furniture and a barbecue/dining area. It should not include the whole section or rear section even if the boundary is fenced. The pool area should not be a thoroughfare, provide access to other outbuildings, or accommodate other outdoor activities such as clotheslines, vegetable gardens or children’s play equipment.
Under the new legislation, compliant child resistant pool covers are considered a lawful pool safety barrier, so long as the pool cover can achieve all of the following.
First we will contact you in writing to arrange an inspection. We need an adult to be present at this inspection. If you get a letter from us and you’re unable to attend at the specified time you will need to contact us on (04) 237 5089 to arrange another time. Please note the Building Act says that we must inspect your pool at least once every three years. Our officer will be looking at the barriers around the pool to make sure they comply with the Act.
Yes you can. You will need to contact us on (04) 237 5089 and make an appointment. Please note officers will be looking at more than 400 pools so you may need to be flexible about the date and time of a site visit.
If the pool passes the inspection you will receive a letter stating that the pool is compliant and setting out when the next inspection will be arranged.
If you fail the inspection we’ll write to you and let you know, and you’ll be required to make changes so the pool complies.
A further inspection will be required to sign off the pool.
It is an offence not to comply with a Notice to Fix and if convicted you could be liable to a fine not exceeding $5,000.
We have a Checksheet that the Council officer will use. You may wish to do your own audit prior to our inspector turning up as this may save you time and money.
Yes you can, but the pool inspector needs to be someone who has been accepted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) as qualified to carry out inspections to determine whether a pool has barriers that meet the requirements of the Building Act. A copy of their inspection must be forwarded to the Council as soon as possible after the inspection.
The initial Council pool visit will be free, because of the importance of keeping our children and young people safe.
If you fail to keep an appointment without reasonable cause or require follow up visits to check your pool or barriers you will incur a charge for our time.
The visits every three years after the initial visits will be charged at the fee set by Council at the time.
More information about the Pools Act, what type of barriers you need and owners responsibilities is available on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) website: