The Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 came into effect 1 January 2017. It repeals the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 and includes new provisions in the Building Act 2004 relating to residential pools.
The new legislation was introduced to help keep children safe around swimming pools and clearly sets out the types of fencing you need to have around your pool.
You need building consent before constructing any type of pool or altering a fence around a pool. If a pool is not fenced to the requirements of the New Zealand Building Code, you must keep it empty. If you rent or lease a house with an unfenced pool, the pool must stay empty.
Portable pools are treated in the same way as other residential pools. They must have barriers that restrict access by young children if they are filled or partly filled with water. Portable pools with a maximum depth of water of less than 400mm are exempt.
The new law no longer requires spa pools to be fenced. Spa pools will comply with the new law if they meet the following criteria:
- Access is restricted to young children by having a complying lockable child resistant cover.
- 760mm climbable sides.
- Water surface area of 5 square metres or less.
CODC now has new tools to enforce the pool barrier requirements and can issue a notice to fix a non-complying pool. Persons failing to comply with the notice to fix could receive an infringement notice or face prosecution.
CODC now has discretionary power to inspect any residential pool, including small heated pools, to determine whether the pool barrier requirements are being complied with.