What are the new swimming pool safety requirements?
When does the new pool safety legislation come into effect?
01 January 2017
Why have the laws been changed?
Although accidental deaths per year from drowning have reduced significantly in the last 30 years since legislation first came into effect, we can reduce this even further by ensuring the steps taken at completion of swimming pool sign-off by Council remain in place during the lifespan of pools and spa pools.
The new legislation provides additional enforcement tools to territorial authorities to help ensure safety around residential pools is maintained by owners. (See also "Will I need to have my pool inspected and what are the costs?")
Am I required to have fencing for my temporary inflatable pool?
If the inflatable pool has the capability of being filled to 400mm or more then you will be required to fence the pool as per the legislation to restrict access by young children. It remains important to watch your children closely while they are playing in the pool.
Manufacturers and retailers of swimming pools and spa pools must inform buyers of their responsibilities by providing notices with these products. Also refer to MBIE Guidance for pool owners.
Will my current fencing around my pool meet the new fencing requirements if it complied with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987?
If your fence already complies then you should not need to do anything further. You will need however to ensure your pool is inspected every three years. (See also “Will I need to have my pool inspected and what are the costs?”).
Do I have to make my boundary fence comply on my neighbour's side to meet pool safety requirements?
No, as long as you maintain the height requirements to prevent access to your own pool.
What are the changes to doors opening into pool areas?
All doors must be self-closing or be fitted with alarms that go off if the doors don’t close after someone goes through them.
Does my spa pool need a fence and/or a building consent?
There are some parameters for ‘small heated pools’ that do not require a fence. They need to:
- be less than 5m2 surface area of the water
- be minimum 760mm high
- have no steps
- have a complying lockable lid
See further information on safety covers on the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website.
Manufacturers and retailers of swimming pools and spa pools must inform buyers of their responsibilities by providing notices with these products. It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure fences, self-closing gates and latches continue to operate correctly and are maintained.
I have an existing pool/spa and it doesn’t comply with new legislation, what do I do?
Contact your local pool fencing supplier and/or window and door hardware supplier who will be able to supply and make adjustments to ensure your pool is compliant. Before commencing work, check with the Council to see if the extent of work you are doing will require a building consent.
Are there any changes to the building consent process?
The process for applying remains the same, although you will need ongoing inspections. (See also “Will I need to have my pool inspected and what are the costs?”).
Will I need to have my pool inspected and what are the costs?
You will need to have three yearly inspections within six months before or after the anniversary date of your pool or spa pool. The anniversary date is the date of issue of the Code of Compliance Certificate or the Certificate of Acceptance.
Council’s cost for pool inspections can be found under Building Fees. You may be subject to Notices to fix and infringements from 01/01/17 if your pool fencing does not comply.
Who can undertake a pool/spa inspection?
Pool owners can choose to either use a qualified Council inspector, or a registered Independently Qualified Pool Inspector (IQPI) accepted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment as qualified to carry out these three yearly inspections.
How do I book a pool/spa inspection?
If you choose to book through the Selwyn District Council please call one of our friendly Building Advisory staff on (03) 347 2839. Alternatively you can contact a local Independently Qualified Pool Inspector (IQPI). A register of Independently Qualified Pool Inspectors is available under the Trading Standards section of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website .
Where can I go for further information?
Helpful information is available by visiting the following websites:
- Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment
- Building Code Clause F9 Restricting access to residential pools
- Guidance for pool owners
- Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016
- Building (Pools) Regulations 2016
Alternatively you can speak to our friendly Building Advisory team on (03) 347 2839 or email firstname.lastname@example.org