Swimming Pools Under The Spotlight

They’re a great place to take a dip in summer, but backyard swimming pools also need to be properly fenced and maintained.

That’s why each year the Hurunui District Council conducts an audit to ensure gates latch properly, fences are the right height, and there are no structures that would allow children to climb over and into an unsupervised pool.

Environmental Services Manager, Judith Batchelor, says no-one wants to have a drowning tragedy and the audit is simply about ensuring all the proper checks and balances are in place to ensure backyard pools are as safe as practicable.

Around 163 pools (of the backyard 370 pools in the district) are being audited this year. Owners are sent a letter and asked to contact the council to arrange an appointment for an inspection.

Anyone who has whose pool has been removed or filled in also needs to let the council know, so that it can be confirmed and then removed from our database.

Judith Batchelor says any pools that breach the rules need to be emptied immediately and the owners are required to re-book an inspection when remedial work has been undertaken.

“We’re simply not prepared to take any chances. Where there is an issue with an insecure gate, or inappropriate fencing, we will take whatever action necessary to ensure the pool is not going to be used, until the defects are remedied.”

(There is no charge if the second inspection occurs within two months of the original inspection.)

Last year the council inspected 95 pools. Fourteen failed to comply. (Ten are now empty and the other four will be re-inspected during this year’s audit)

The inspections are a requirement of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act.

You can find more information on the rules around private pools on our website:


For further information contact:                

Judith Batchelor

Environmental Services Manager

Hurunui District Council

P: 03 314 8816