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The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act was introduced to protect young children from the danger of drowning.
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UPDATE: New Pool Safety Legislation Effective 1 January 2017
On 20 October 2016 Parliament passed the Building (Pools) Amendment Bill, repealing the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 and including new pool safety provisions in the Building Act 2004. Key changes include:
It is your responsibility to provide a physical barrier to restrict access to your pool. The Waimakariri
District Council has the responsibility to administer the Building Act 2004.
The changes have been
introduced to protect young children from the danger of drowning and is being
reviewed, and the new legislation has taken effect
from 01 January 2017.
Some small heated pools (Spa pools) and ponds not
intended for swimming will no longer needs fencing. Contact the
Waimakariri District Council to see if your pool or pond is exempt.
Councils will be required to inspect a pool and its
barrier at least once every three years.
In the event that a barrier has horizontal structures, such as bars, rods, wires or bracing, which are accessible from outside, they must be at least 900 mm apart and there must be no other support or structure (apart from a vertical rail) between them which might make climbing possible for a young child.
When using netting, mesh or similar perforated material, e.g. trellis, the openings must not be larger than 50 mm and the height should be 1.8 m.
Gates and doors which provide access to pool areas are treated as barriers and must be constructed to comply with the rules given to the barriers (see above). They should be mounted so that:
When a door or window in a wall forms part of a pool fence
Where a door or window in a wall forms part of a
pool barrier, the door must not be readily opened by
children and must either emit an audible warning or close automatically after
use. Window openings must be constructed or positioned to restrict the passage