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Locals urged to comply with pool regulations


Summer has been and gone, but Wairoa District Council still wants to remind those people who do have swimming pools that they have to comply with pool and building regulations.

Over the coming weeks, Council will be sending out notification letters to properties that have been identified as potentially having swimming pools.

If you no longer have a swimming pool, you can contact Council on 06 838 7309 or visit the main office in Queen Street to fill out a declaration form.

This will allow Council staff to have your pool removed from their database.

Council’s Operations Manager, Helen Montgomery, says the Council building inspection team will make contact with those residents who do have pools to arrange a pool and fence inspection.

Ms Montgomery is encouraging those who do have pools to contact Council if they need any clarity around the laws in place for the fencing of swimming pools.

She also wants to remind pool owners that it costs $135 to inspect your property. These inspections are carried out every three years.

“Pool safety is a national priority as indicated by the recent amendment to the Building Act around the fencing of pools.” Ms Montgomery says.

“If you no longer have a pool and fail to complete the declaration, you may incur costs for an unnecessary pool inspection.

“Please don’t try to take any shortcuts with these regulations, safety is paramount, and shortcuts usually costs you more in the long run.”

Council is reminding the public that if your portable pool can hold water of 40cm depth or deeper, the pool must be fenced off.  It is important to remember that a building consent is required before a pool or pool fence is built, or any fence around a pool is altered.

If a pool is not fenced to the requirements of the Building Act, it must be kept empty. 

If you rent or lease a house with an unfenced pool, the pool must stay empty. Portable pools are treated in the same way as permanent pools.  They must have barriers that restrict access by young children if they are filled or partly filled with water but portable pools with a maximum depth of water of less than 40cm are exempt.

The new law no longer requires all spa pools to be fenced.  Spa pools will comply with the new law if they meet the criteria restricting access to young children by having a complying lockable child resistant cover, the pool has 76-cm-high non-climbable sides and the water surface area is five square metres or less.

New legislation also requires pool owners to notify the Council of the existence of a pool, regardless of when the pool was installed.

Council has an obligation to ensure the Building Act is complied with throughout its district and ensure that pools are fenced to the standards. 

This is monitored by a mandatory inspection every three years.

For more information visit


31 October 2018

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