For information on residential swimming pools and pool owner responsibilities see below
This section contains information on residential swimming pool requirements such as installing a compliant pool barrier and what your responsibilities are as a pool owner
On 1 January 2017 the Building (Pools) Amendment Act repealed the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act and inserted new provisions into the Building Act 2004. You can read about these provisions in the sections below.
Note to pool owners: New Pool barriers ALWAYS require a building consent even if the barrier is less than
2.5m in height. It has come to our attention that some pool retailers are informing their clients that a building consent is not needed for a pool barrier if the barrier is less than 2.5m in height. This is incorrect. If a barrier is to restrict access to a residential pool; then it MUST have a building consent. This is clearly stated in Schedule One of the Building Act 2004 (Building work for which building consent is not required).
A pool means
A residential pool means a pool that is
A small heated pool (spa or hot tub) means a pool where
The Building Act 2004 has made provision for the continued compliance of existing pools within the recent changes to pool legislation. The critical sections of the Building Act are section 162C and section 450B. This applies to any residential pool that was constructed, erected, or installed (after 1 September 1987) and before 1 January 2017.
An existing pool is deemed to have barriers that comply if the barriers—
This means that for a pool either consented with a CCC or approved with a COA issued under old legislation (before 1 January 2017), that it continues to
Alternatively, an existing pool is deemed to comply if all of the following apply:
Pool barriers ALWAYS require a building consent even if the barrier is less than 2.5m in height.
It has come to our notice that some pool retailers are informing their clients that a building consent is not needed for a pool barrier if the barrier is less than 2.5m in height. This is incorrect.
If a barrier is to restrict access to a residential pool; then it MUST have a building consent. This is clearly stated in Schedule One of the Building Act 2004 (Building work for which building consent is not required).
A building consent is required for pool barriers. This must be obtained before barrier construction and pool construction/installation begins. A pool barrier is required if the pool can be filled to a depth of 400mm or more, and contains any volume of water. This includes:
A barrier is not required for:
Residential pool or large spa
If the residential pool, including an indoor residential pool or large spa pool, does not fit the definition of a small heated pool, and is not exempt under Schedule 1 of the Building Act 2004, then a building consent will be required for building work in connection with a pool and any structure in support of the pool. Contact your Council and check whether you need a building consent for the pool, the pool barriers or both. Exempt pools:
Even if you find that the pool is exempt, the barriers to restrict the access of young children to the residential pool are not exempt and do require a building consent. The pool barriers and operation of barriers must meet the requirements of the Building Code clause F9. These requirements also apply to temporary above ground pools and any pool that can be filled to a depth of 400mm or more. Means of compliance can be either through following an acceptable solution or an alternative solution:
Small heated pools
A building consent is not required if the residential pool fits the definition of a small heated pool, has non climable walls of at least 760mm high, and the safety cover complies with Building Code clause F9.3.5. Small heated pools are also exempt from the 3 yearly mandatory inspections. The cover must:
See MBIE guidance on exempt building work Section 21A, on page 62, Means of restricting access to small heated pools.
Every residential pool that is filled or partly filled with water must have physical barriers that restrict access to the pool by unsupervised children under 5 years of age. The means of restricting access must comply with the requirements of the building code that are in force; or that was in force when the pool was constructed, erected, or installed (after 1 September 1987) and in respect of which a building consent, code compliance certificate, or certificate of acceptance was issued (in relation to the means of restricting access to the pool). In the case of a small heated pool, the means of restricting access need only restrict access to the pool when the pool is not in use.
The following persons must ensure compliance of the residential pools, including small heated pools:
The responsible person must ensure all compliance requirements are met. If not met, the pool may not be filled with water. Council encourages pool owners to regularly inspect pools and surrounding areas to ensure continued compliance and to promptly attend to any safety maintenance. The key areas to check are the following;
Residential Pools –
Small Heated Pools –
If you are unsure if your pool is compliant, Building Officers are available to conduct pool inspections for a small fee. Please contact the Building Unit of your local Council to make an appointment.
All pool owners should notify the local Council of the existence of a pool on their property. Phone, post a note or email your Council
As of 1 January 2017, every residential pool must be inspected every 3 years, within 6 months either side of the anniversary of the pool’s completion. Your Council will notify you when an inspection is pending. The inspection can be carried out by your local Territorial Authority (Council) or by an independent qualified pool inspector (IQPI) who has been approved by the Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE). A register of IQPIs is available on the MBIE website.
If you choose to use an IQPI, the IQPI must supply the council with a Certificate of Periodic Inspection. If the Council is not satisfied with the certificate they must notify MBIE within 7 working days giving their reasons for not accepting the certificate. Both IQPI and Councils can charge for the work that they carry out. The Council is required to notify the pool owner of an upcoming inspection regardless of who carries out the inspection and is required to hold the inspection records. The person carrying out the inspection has the authority to read the previous pool records prior to the inspection.
If the pool does not pass the inspection the inspector will issue a Notice To Fix. The Owner will have to address the compliance issues within the timeframe stated in the notice. Failure to comply with the Notice To Fix could result in an Infringement Notice and fine, or prosecution.
Before your inspection it is a great idea to inspect the compliance of your pool barrier with our pool barrier safety checklist
The following legal requirements must be met:
Manufacturers and retailers of pools must supply notices warning owners of the requirements to have pool barriers that will prevent young children from accessing the pool. This came into force on 1 September 2017. The notice content, placement, and typography must meet the requirements of the Gazette Notice number 2017–go984, Building (Pool Manufacturers and Retailers) Notice 2017.