Swimming Pool Installations

Swimming Pool legislation, forms and guides, for new and existing swimming pool installations.

The Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 came into effect on 1 January 2017. The act aims to reduce the number of drownings in pools across New Zealand.

The act repealed the previous 'Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987', replacing it with specific safety clauses in the Building Act 2004, particularly to help keep children safer around pools.

Key changes include

  • Swimming pool inspections take place on a three yearly basis by Council or an independently qualified pool inspector.
  • Spa pools and hot tubs are able to use a lid or safety cover for a barrier, instead of a fence.
  • Council has additional enforcement tools including the ability to issue a notice to fix.

Council will check all known swimming pools in the Mackenzie District to make sure they either comply with the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 rules - or rules were in place at the time the pool was built.

Booking an inspection

To book a swimming pool inspection, contact the Building Team on 0800 685 8514 or email building@mackenzie.govt.nz

Before booking an inspection, please fill in the Swimming Pool checklist.

Any remedials that do not require a Building Consent can then be completed before an inspection is booked.

If you are unsure if a Building Consent is required contact building@mackenzie.govt.nz

All swimming pools able to be filled to 400mm or deeper must be inspected every three years. You can choose to have your pool inspected by a swimming pool inspector or by Council.

If your pool doesn't pass its first inspection, Council will issue a notice to fix. Once issues concerned are fixed, the pool is re-inspected.

Does my pool need a barrier?

Any pool able to be filled to a depth of 400mm or more must have a physical barrier like a fence, gate or door, regardless of if the pool is full, partially full, or empty.

Portable pools over 400mm deep require the same standard of fencing of permanent swimming pools. Paddling pools with a maximum depth of less than 400mm are exempt from this rule.

A building consent is required before a pool and pool barrier are installed. The only exception is a safety cover for a small heated pool.

Type of barrier required?

A barrier can include a fence, gate or door. The key rule for the barrier is that it is able to restrict access to the pool for unsupervised kids under five years old.

If you are building a new barrier, it must follow these rules:

Gates and doors must:

  • Open away from the pool.
  • Restrict access to young children when closed.
  • Close automatically or have a warning sound when open.

Fences must:

  • Be at least 1.2m high, measured from the ground or any object in the pool area.
  • Not be easily climbed by young children.

To check if your barrier complies, contact the Building team on 0800 685 8514.

Small heated pools and spas

The exception to the barrier rules are certain small heated pools. A lid or safety cover is able to be used as long as:

  • The water surface is 5m² or less.
  • The side walls of the pool are at least 760mm high and cannot be climbed.

The cover must:

  • Include a sign that shows its safety features.
  • Restrict entry of children under 5 years old when closed.
  • Be able to hold a foreseeable load.
  • Be closed easily.

If a safety cover meets these requirements, the small heated pool or spa will not require an inspection.

Further resources

A building consent is required for a new swimming pool. The pool needs to comply with rules set out in the building code.

I had my pool installed years ago, will I need to change my fence to fit the new rules?

No. Your swimming pool fence must comply with the new rules - or with the rules that were in place when your pool was built. You still need to get it inspected.

Do I need to get my swimming pool inspected?

If the swimming pool is able to be filled to 400mm or deeper, inspection will be required, regardless of if the pool is permanent or portable, indoor or outdoor. The rules apply whether the pool is full, partially full, or empty.

Payment options for inspections?

Either:

  • In person, at the Fairlie and Twizel Council offices - Cash, EFTPOS or credit card
  • Via internet banking.

Who will do the inspection?

A member of the Building team will visit your property to conduct your inspection.

Am I able to use someone else instead of Council?

Yes, your pool can be inspected by an independently qualified pool inspector or by Council.

If you have your pool inspected by someone else, please contact us, and provide a copy of your inspection report.

What if my pool doesn’t pass the inspection?

If your pool does not meet the legal requirements, you will be advised of any issues and given time to make repairs or adjustments as necessary.

In certain cases Council may issue a Notice to Fix. Failing to comply with this notice can lead to an infringement notice being issued or prosecution.

Are pool inspections done after hours?

Pool inspections are within office hours only - Monday to Friday, 8:30pm - 5pm.

Do I need to be present while the pool is being inspected?

No. As long as the inspector is able to access the swimming pool then you do not need to be present. If the inspector is unable to access your property by themselves, you will need to make arrangements to give access.

My home is rented - how can I check if the pool has passed inspection?

Get in touch with your landlord, or contact Council to check that the pool is compliant.

Responsibilities for pool compliance when renting?

The responsibility is shared between the land/property owner and the tenant.

Forms and Guides

Swimming Pools

  • Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016
  • NZBC F9 - Means of restricting access to residential pools - MBIE website
  • Swimming Pool Checklist for Owners
  • Fees and Charges

    Building charge Basis for charge Fees 2022/23
    Swimming Pool Administration $90.00
    Swimming Pool Swimming Pool Inspection $180.00 for the first hour and $90.00 per 30 minutes of part thereof after that
    Swimming Pool Application for outdoor swimming pool / fence. Based on 2 hours, $180.00 per hour thereafter. $360.00
    Notice to Fix Base fee to prepare notice, plus investigation at $180.00 per hour, plus inspections at $180.00 per hour each or part thereof. $500.00