Spa and Swimming Pools
This page explains the fencing and safety requirements for spa and swimming pools effective 1 January 2017.
Fencing of pools
The law on fencing pools changed on 1 January 2017, when the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 came into force. Swimming and spa pools have been required to be fenced since the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987. If you have a pool, the responsibility to ensure that it is safe, especially for young children, will not change.
The main changes under the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016:
- all swimming pools must be inspected every three years
- councils will have the authority to use new enforcement tools, such as notices to fix. If the owner of a pool fails to comply with the notice to fix, an offence is committed. If convicted, they may have to pay a fine of up to $5,000
- the new law no longer requires spa pools to be fenced. However, they must restrict access to young children by having a lockable, child-resistant cover and be at least 760mm above ground
- doors that restrict unsupervised access to pools will be able to have an alarm, as an alternative to automatically closing.
If you’re not sure whether the Council is not aware of your swimming/spa pool contact a Building Compliance Officer on (04) 237 5089.
Inflatable and portable pools
Inflatable and portable pools having a water depth less than 400mm must not be left unattended either with water in them or with the potential to gather water. They should always be emptied and stored safely away when not in use.
Building consent requirements
Building Consent is required to:
- build or install new swimming or spa pools and associated fences
- construct new or alter existing pool fencing
- construct or install pool drainage and water supply protection systems.
Note: A resource consent may also be required. Please contact a Resource Consent Planner on (04) 237 5089.
For more information, please contact a Building Compliance Officer on (04) 237 5089 or visit the Council’s Customer Services Centre.
Pool fencing that does not comply with the Act
If your pool fencing is not compliant, the pool must be drained and kept empty until it does comply. In this case, you must erect safety barriers around the pool until all compliance work is completed.
Storage of pool treatment chemicals
Pool treatment chemicals such as chlorine are hazardous substances and must be correctly stored and secured, away from other chemicals.
For more information on hazardous substances go to the links provided below, or contact the Council's Customer Services Centre.
Filling and empty the pool
The Council requires owners to fit a backflow prevention device to whatever means they use to fill the pool- generally just a hose tap- to stop contamination of the water supply.
Contamination can happen if there is a drop in mains water pressure and pool water, which contains chemicals, is sucked into the mains supply.
For hose filled pools, the most common device is a hose connection vacuum breaker. It fits between the tap and the hose and can be bought at hardware stores and plumbing outlets.
Pool water must be drained into an outlet approved by the Council.
Links to more swimming pool information
Porirua City Council links: