The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act (1987) basically is designed to protect small children from accidentally falling into pools and to do this it decrees that all pools must be fenced.
The exceptions to this rule are as follows:
- Free standing pools with sides higher than 1.2 m provided that ladders and all other means of access are removed when the pool is not in use.
- Pools less than 400mm deep
- Indoor pools where they are part of a house.
All other pools require fencing.
Safety Measures are your responsibitlity
If you have a swimming or spa pool at home, you are responsible for a number of safety measures to prevent young children gaining unsupervised access, including:
- Fencing the immediate pool area, to a height of at least 1.2m. The fence must not have any toeholds or climbable rails. The maximum gap allowed between vertical bars or slats, and between the ground and the fence, is 100mm.
- Gates must open outwards, close automatically, and be self-latching. Any ranch sliders, doors, and windows opening into the pool area must have locking devices.
Any ranch sliders, doors, and windows (without restrictors), opening into the pool area must have written dispensation from Council in the form of a waiver from the fencing requirements of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act. Waivers are also available for spa pool with lockable covers.
- Above-ground pools should have smooth vertical sides at least 1.2m high, no projections that could be used for climbing, for example the housing for the pool pump and the steps for pool access must be removed when not in use.
Your Swimming Pool or Spa Pool must be Registered
These are government rules, not ours. However we administer the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act and the Building Act, so all swimming pools and spa pools must be registered with the Council. Each year Council staff inspect a number of pools on the register.
Spa pools are included in the need for fencing where they are outside or on a deck. A lockable cover is not a substitute for a fence unless you have sought, and been granted, an exemption from fencing. These exemptions can be applied for to Council and are sometimes granted, if the Hearing Committee thinks that there will be no more danger than if the pool was fenced.
Pool owners are responsible for notifying the Council of the existence of a swimming pool and ensuring the correct fencing is in place. The fences must comply with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act.
View the Guide to Pool Owners(298KB). This document is also available from any of our Council Offices.
If you wish to discuss any aspect of swimming pool fencing please contact our friendly planning staff at our Council Offices.
Inflatable Paddling Pools
Inflatable toddlers’ paddling pools don’t need to be fenced or registered as long as the depth of water does not exceed 400mm but children still need to be supervised when playing in the water. Don’t forget to empty these types of pools when not in use.