Swimming Pools

A pool is a great asset for the home and family, but pools can also be a potential danger for young children.  Private swimming pools are the single most significant water danger for pre-schoolers according to Water Safety New Zealand drowning statistics.

The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act exists to protect young children from the dangers of unfenced swimming pools and spa pools.  It does this by requiring owners to fence their pools.

Pool owners, people with pools on their property and this Council all have duties under the Act.

Pool owners must tell the Council that they have a pool.  Those intending to get a pool must also tell the Council by applying for a building consent prior to construction.  All pools must be fenced to the standard set in the Act.  If a pool is not fenced to this standard, the owner must ensure that the pool is kept empty.

Those renting or leasing a property with a pool must also ensure the pool is empty if the pool fence does not comply with the Act.

This Council is required to take all reasonable steps to make sure the Act is complied with.

What pools need to be fenced?


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

> The maximum depth of water does not exceed 400mm.

> The walls of the pool are no less than 1.2 metres above the ground or any permanent object.

> The pool is wholly enclosed within a building whose principle use is not for swimming.

Where must the fence be situated?

The fence must only surround the pool and the area immediately around the pool.  This area can only include things used in association with the pool, for example, changing sheds, filter shed, pump house, seating, decking and paving.  It should not include the clothes line, vegetable garden, driveway or area used for other outdoor activities.

Can pool owners be exempted from the Act?

Pool owners can apply to the Council for an exemption from the Act.  The Council can grant exemptions from the Act, or specify certain conditions that the pool or the property must meet provided that it is satisfied the exemptions or conditions would not significantly increase danger to young children.

Form: Application for Special Exemption

Pool fencing guidelines

Pool fencing should prevent children up to six years old from climbing over, under or through it to gain access to a pool.  Check that:

Guide to Pool Fencing

Need further information?

Council Building Officers can provide you with the information you need.