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Building Consents & Information
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Swimming Pools

View looking towards a swimming pool outside the fence.Why do I have to fence my swimming pool and spa?

By making sure that your pool complies with the Swimming Pool Fencing regulations you know that your pool will also be safe. These regulations are designed to protect children under 6 years of age by requiring that all swimming and spa pools are fenced in accordance with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987.

Fencing your pool can be easy and not as much fuss as you may have thought. We can assist and advise you of what is required and your responsibilities under the law.

What is a swimming pool?

  • Any excavation, structure or product that is used and is capable of being used for swimming, wading, paddling or bathing including spa pools.

What pools need to be fenced?

All private swimming pools and spa pools have to be fenced unless:

  • The maximum depth is 400mm or less
  • The walls of the pool are 1.2 metres or more above the ground (or pool surrounds) and are constructed so as to inhibit climbing
  • The pool is indoors.

(However, these pools still require a building consent).

Where must the fence be placed?

The fence must only surround the "immediate pool area". The area can only include items used with the pool such as the diving board, swimming pool furniture, toys and equipment directly related to the swimming pool. It should not include the clothesline, vegetable garden, children's play area etc.

Beware of including a boundary fence as part of a pool fence. Your neighbours may put trellis or a stack of wood, for example on the other side. This could enable a child to climb over the fence. In such cases the fence would not comply with the Act.

“Immediate Pool Area” (as defined in Section 2 of the Act) means; The land in or on which the pool is situated and so much of the surrounding area as is used for activities or purposes carried on in conjunction with the use of the pool.

Can a building form part of the fence?

Buildings can form part of the fence but have to meet certain requirements in the Act.

Communal living areas should not open directly onto the pool unless the door is fitted with a lock that when properly operated, prevents the door from being readily opened by children under the age of 6.  (Refer to the Swimming Pool Fencing Diagrams, in particular diagrams 3, 4 and 5.)

Selling with an unfenced pool

Home buyers can obtain a report, called a Land Information Memorandum, on the property they are buying. If there is a record of a non-complying pool on the property, this would be noted in the report. This could mean hasty and expensive action by you to remedy the situation and enable the sale to proceed.

Fail to meet the requirements

Failure to comply may result in expensive legal proceedings. Information in this website can show you that fencing your pool can be easy and not as much fuss as you may have thought.

Until your pool does comply with the Act, the pool must be empty or have a water depth of not more than 400 millimetres.

Swimming pools in non-reticulated areas

Swimming pools in non-reticulated areas are still required to comply with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987.  Swimming pools on rural and lifestyle properties however are usually the primary source of water for firefighting purposes.  Pool owners should be aware of this if considering emptying their pools in order to comply with the Act. 

We want to help

We want to make Napier City a safer environment for everyone, including small children. Please contact us if you are unsure what you need to do.

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