Private Swimming Pools Listen Swimming Pool Fencing Requirements and FAQs This page is intended as a guide only. Please refer to the relevant legislation or contact Council for full definitions and guidelines. A pool is any structure or product containing water over 400mm deep that is used or capable of being used for swimming, wading, paddling, or bathing, and includes spa and inflatable pools. All pools must be fenced following the guidelines required under the Building Code clause F9. A building consent from Council is required for the installation of pools that don’t meet the requirements of exempt work under Schedule 1 of the Building Act. Even though certain swimming pools don’t require a building consent the pool fencing/barrier may still require building consent approval. Please contact Council to find out whether you need a consent. Swimming pool fencing/restriction guidelines The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 (FOSPA) has been repealed and fences/barriers are now covered under the Building Act 2004, specifically Building Code clause F9. Swimming and spa pools are part of our way of life in New Zealand. As the pool owner, you’re responsible for installing and maintaining pool fencing that is safe and effective. Above-Ground Swimming Pools No fence/barrier for an above-ground pool is required if the sides of the pool can be an effective barrier. Fencing/restrictions are not required if: The minimum height of the walls of the pool are 1.2m from the ground/finished floor level;The sides of the pool are smooth, so there is nothing that can be used as a foot-hold to climb into the interior of the pool;There are no permanent projections or objects that can be climbed or stepped on to get into the interior of the pool; andThe ladder or means of getting in the pool is removed when the pool is not in use. NOTE: All in-ground swimming pools, and above-ground swimming pools with sides less than 1.2m high, need a complying fence/barrier which requires Building Consent approval. Swimming Pool Fencing and Restriction Information The following is required to achieve a complying swimming pool fence/barrier (see Building Code clause F9 for more information) The fence/barrier must not be less than 1.2m high measured from ground level.Gates must open outward with no means provided to hold the gate open.When lifted up or down the gate or door does not release the latch device or come off its hinges.Gates must automatically latch, with latch 1.5m above ground level on outside, or 1.2m above ground level on the inside of gate or door.Every gate or door in a pool fence shall be fitted with a device that will automatically return it to a closed position and operate the latch device when the gate is held at not more than 150mm from the closed position.The fence/barrier must be clear of any permanent projection, or object placed on the ground within 1.2m of the fence/barrier on the outside, that can act as a step.No horizontal rails with less than 900mm gap between the rails on the outside of the fence.No gaps between vertical cladding to be more than 100mm wide.No gaps under the fencing or gates to be more than 100mm wide.Gaps in any perforated material (trellis, mesh or netting) are no wider than 10mm if the fence/barrier is 1.2m in height.Gaps in any perforated material (trellis, mesh or netting) are no wider than 50mm if the fence/barrier is 1.8m in height.If the fence is horizontally close boarded, the maximum gap between each board is 10mm.Any windows that open into the pool area, lower than 1.2m from the inside floor level, must have restrictors on them limiting the opening to 100mm.Any door in a building that provides direct access to the pool is self-closing and self-latching or has an audible alarm.The door’s locking device or alarm deactivation switch is fitted at least 1.5m from floor level.A suitable backflow preventer (vacuum breaker) fitted to the tap used for filling the pool Further Information Pool Safety Legislation Newsletter Building Code clause F9 MBIE has further information -Restricting access to residential pools. The Building Pools Amendment Act 2016 is available on the Legislation website. If you have questions or need guidance about your pool, please contact us at the Rangitīkei District Council FAQ's Q: Does my spa pool or hot tub need to be fenced? Small heated pools where the top surface of every wall of the pool is at all points not less than 760 mm above the adjacent floor or ground and the walls of the pool inhibit climbing. Where a cover is provided as a barrier to a small heated pool, it must: restrict the entry of children when closed, be able to withstand a reasonably foreseeable load, be able to be readily returned to the closed position, and have signage indicating its child safety features. Q: What is considered to be the immediate pool area? The land in or on which the pool is situated and the surrounding area as is used for activities carried out in relation to or involving the pool. Q: What is considered as a small, heated pool? A heated pool (spa pool or hot tub) that has a water surface area of 5 m2 or less; and is designed for therapeutic or recreational use. Q: Who is responsible for pool safety? The responsibility of pool safety lies with: the owner of the pool, the pool operator, the owner of the land on which the pool is situated, andthe occupier of the property in or on which the pool is situated. Q: How often do I need to have my pool inspected? Every territorial authority must ensure that residential pools within its jurisdiction are inspected once every three years to determine whether the pool has barriers that comply with the requirements. residential pools other than small heated pools:small heated pools that have barriers that are not exempt. Q: Who can I have inspect my pool? You can choose to have your territorial authority (Rangitīkei District Council) or an Independently Qualified Pool Inspector inspect any residential pool (of the immediate pool area). Q: What happens if my pool was built before the new legislation in 2017? For pools installed prior to 1 January 2017, the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 may still apply. If your pool was installed prior to this date, please contact the Council for clarification. Q: Can I choose not to have the territorial authority inspect my pool? No, an authorised council officer is entitled, at all times, during normal working hours or while building work is being carried out, to inspect any residential pool (or the immediate pool area). Q: Why require fencing of pools where no children live? The pool barrier requirements apply regardless of whether any children are living on the property. Research shows that most homes with pools have young children among their visitors, and that young children are six times more likely to drown when they are visiting someone else’s home than when they are at their own home.