Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987

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Changes being made to the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987

The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 (the Act) aims to promote the safety of young children by requiring pool owners to fence certain swimming pools.

The Act has helped to reduce the number of young children drowning in home pools from more than 100 in the 10 years to 1982 down to 30 in the 10 years to 2012.

The Government is changing the pool safety legislation to strike a better balance between protecting young children from drowning in home pools and making the legislation more workable for pool owners and local councils.

The changes are estimated to reduce the risk of young children drowning in home pools by six drownings every 10 years.

Here are some of the changes:

  • There will be clearer requirements for restricting access to swimming pools.
  • Councils will be required to inspect swimming pools every five years.
  • Child-resistant spa pools will no longer require an additional means of restricting access.
  • Retailers will be required to inform people who purchase spa pools and portable pools of their obligations.
  • A graduated enforcement regime for breaches of the requirements of the Act will be created.
  • The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 will be repealed and the pool safety provisions will be incorporated as a new Part of the Building Act 2004.
  • Garden ponds and other water hazards will be exempt if they are not intended for swimming.

The changes take into account 392 submissions received from safety groups, the pool industry, local councils, pool owners and others during public consultation.

The changes will take effect after the Building Act 2004 has been amended.

The Building (Pools) Amendment Bill is currently being considered by the Local Government and Environment Select Committee.

Additional information

Questions about your pool and additional information about the Act

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment administers the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987.

The Act requires local councils and owners to ensure that access to certain pools is restricted.

If you have questions or need guidance about your pool, please contact your local council in the first instance.

If you have any other questions, please contact us.

Additional information