Swimming pool fencing
Legislation requires swimming pools be fenced to protect young children. Most drownings involve the children of pool owners or their visitors rather than wandering children, so a boundary fence is not enough. The immediate pool area needs to be fenced.
All spa pools, hot tubs and swimming pools in Hastings must be registered. Many will also need a Building Consent in order to comply with the Building Act.
Pool fencing must be regularly checked by the property owner or occupier to ensure it continues to comply and must be inspected every three years by Council.
MBIE (Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) has published a guide setting our acceptable fencing solutions for home pools; access the guide on the Building NZ website.
Pool owners’ obligations
You need Building Consent before constructing any type of pool or building or altering a fence around a pool. If a pool is not fenced to legal standards, you must keep it empty. If that could allow someone to fall one metre or more to the bottom of the pool, you must erect barriers to prevent that.
All pool owners must advise Council if they have a pool on their property.
If you rent or lease a house with an un-fenced pool (or one that has a sub-standard fence) you must keep the pool empty. If that could allow someone to fall one metre or more to the bottom of the pool, you must erect barriers to prevent that.
If you use an un-fenced pool you are committing an offence. Prosecutions have been taken against owners of properties with inadequately fenced pools in which children have drowned.
All private swimming pools need to be fenced unless:
- The maximum depth is 400 mm or less.
- The walls of the pool are 1.2 metres or more above the ground with no steps, hand holds or projections enabling a child to climb into the pool.
Council has discretion to grant exemptions to fencing standards if it is satisfied that the danger to young children will not be significantly increased by allowing the exemption.
Standard of fencing
You will require Building Consent to build a swimming pool fence. All materials and components must be durable and the fence must be erected in a way that prevents young children from climbing over or crawling under or through the fence into the pool area.
Fees and charges
The processing of Building Consents for swimming pools and/or swimming pool fences is charged at an hourly rate; see Council's fees and charges page: Building: Standard charges; building officers.
Before you make a decision to buy or build a pool, contact Council's Duty Building Technician to discuss your proposal; phone +64 6 871 5000.