Swimming and spa pools are part of our way of life in New Zealand. They provide wonderful opportunities for the whole family to gather together and have fun. As the pool owner, you’re responsible for installing and maintaining pool fencing that is safe and effective.
The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 (FOSPA) has been repealed and fences/barriers are now covered under the Building Act 2004.
All residential swimming pools need to have barriers that restrict access to the pool or the immediate pool area to unsupervised children. These barriers must comply with the Building Act 2004 and Building Code Clause 9.
Even 'temporary' inflatable pools fall under the requirements of a residential pool. If your inflatable pool has the ability to hold 400mm or more of water, then you will need a way to restrict access to it.
Council must ensure that residential pools are inspected at least once every three years, within six months before or after the pool’s last inspection date, to determine whether the pool has barriers that comply with the requirements.
The purpose of this is to prevent drowning of, and injury to, young children by restricting unsupervised access to residential pools by children under 5 years of age.
The construction of a swimming pool barrier requires a building consent. Most swimming pools also require a building consent, however some are considered exempt from a building consent under the Building Act 2004, provided they meet the requirements set out in the MBIE's exempt building work guidance for pools and tanks.
For more information on residential pools and the requirements they must meet, go to the following MBIE web pages:
It is the owner of the land the pool is situated and the occupier of the property the pool is situated to ensure the compliance of the swimming pool / small heated pool barrier.
Downloadable check sheets for self audit
Council have developed the following check sheets which enable you to complete a self audit of the compliance of your pool barrier.