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Mackenzie District Council - Change to Swimming Pool Supervision Policy

With the national discussion on swimming pool safety Mackenzie District Council staff and our contractor have taken the opportunity to review the current arrangements at our two pools.

The revised policy for access and supervision requirements at MDC’s pools is below, and is effective immediately. This policy aligns MDC with a number of other pools across New Zealand.

Another key reason for this review was the increasing number of incidents where younger children are dropped off at pools without appropriate supervision. This put additional strain on the lifeguards employed at our pools. The new policy will increase their ability to watch people in the pool, and will reduce the risk of drownings.

Please note, active supervision means watching the swimmers you are responsible for. It does not mean reading a book, engaging with your phone or intensely socialising with others.


Children under 12 years old: MUST be actively supervised by a caregiver 16 years or over. Actively supervised means:

  • Watching your children at all times to be able to provide immediate assistance.
  • At a close distance where you can see, hear and be heard by your child and your child must be able to see you.

Children 5 years and under: 

  • Must be within arms reach of their caregiver who is 16 years old or over at all times.

Maximum adult to child ratios: 

  • One adult to two under 5yr's
  • One adult to four 5-10yr's
  • One adult to one under 5 and three 5-10yr's