Swimming Pool Fencing
Residential Pools - Legislation
As of 1 January 2017, the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 is no longer in effect. If your pool barrier complied with Schedule 1 of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987, then it will probably still comply with the new legislation, although there are some exceptions.
The Act and Building Code set out the types of fencing or other requirements you need to have around your pool. It is a requirement that all spa pools, hot tubs, and swimming pools in our district are registered.
Legislation relating to residential pools is now contained in sections 162A-D of the Building Act 2004
The Act applies to all residential pools and small heated pools with a maximum depth of 400mm or more and uses the term “barrier’ to describe fencing of swimming pools.
Pools that are filled or partly filled with water must have physical barriers that restrict access to residential pools by unsupervised children under 5 years of age.
Whilst you may not require a building consent to install a swimming or spa pool, you do need a building consent for the barrier that is erected to keep young children safe. Refer to Exempt building work guidance | Building Performance
MBIE have produced guidance on pool safety which covers all the rules and regulations, refer to Residential pool safety | Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (mbie.govt.nz)
Residential pools, including indoor swimming pools, require a compliant barrier (refer to F9/AS1) and an inspection every three years, unless they are small heated pools that comply with F9/AS2. Learn more here.
Residential swimming and spa pools must be inspected every three years to confirm that the barrier is still compliant. Inspections are typically undertaken by Council officers although there is an option to use independently qualified pool inspectors (IQIPs). For more information on IQIPs refer to Independently Qualified Pool Inspectors (tradingstandards.govt.nz)
A pool barrier must:
- restrict access to the pool and the immediate pool area
- be at least 1.2m in height above the ground and any permanent projection (for example, steps, retaining walls, raised gardens, etc) or object placed on the ground outside and within 1.2m of the barrier
- have no climbable features on the outside of the barrier (or adjoining barrier) that could be used for climbing unless they are spaced at least 900mm apart
- not have any gaps that exceed 100mm in or under it, including pet doors
External removable ladders must be disabled or removed after use. For pools installed after 1 January 2017, ladders are not allowed unless they are surrounded by a complying barrier and gate.
Gates into the pool area must:
- open away from the pool area
- self-close and self-latch unaided from any distance
- comply with the rules for fences
The gate latch must be:
- a minimum of 1.5m above the ground and any objects within 1.2m of the barrier, if accessible from the outside of the barrier
- inaccessible from the outside except by reaching at least 1.2m if mounted on the inside of the gate
- for pools installed from 1 January 2017, if the latch is accessible only by reaching over the gate, it must be set at least 150mm from the top or be shielded
If the latch is accessible only by reaching over the gate, it must be set at least 150mm from the top or be shielded.
Exemptions are no longer available but under the Building Act there is provision to apply for a waiver or modification as part of your building consent process.