Residential Swimming Pools

All residential pools that hold 400mm or more of water (including small heated pools such as spa pools or hot tubs) are legally required to have physical barriers that keep unsupervised young children safe around them.

Pool barriers must comply with the pool safety provisions stipulated in  Section 162C of the Building Act 2004

A building consent is required for the barrier (fence) to ensure that it meets the requirement for restricting access to the pool. This includes above ground pools where the sides are the barrier.

The pool itself also requires a building consent if it exceeds 35,000 litre capacity.

Section 162D of the Building Act requires councils to inspect pools at least once every three years, within 6 months before or after the pools anniversary date, to make sure they meet requirements.

Warranted Council staff are entitled to enter properties to inspect pools, with inspections carrying a fee.

Common ways in which pool fencing fails Building Act requirements include:

  • the gate does not close automatically
  • the fence has deteriorated, with gaps allowing access or climbing
  • vegetation near the fence, inside or outside, provides assistance to climbing
  • temporary pools purchased without consideration of fencing requirements.

We’ll send you an inspection reminder when you’re due for an inspection. You can choose to have the inspection performed by either an Independently Qualified Pool Inspector (IQPI) or Council’s Swimming Pool Officer.

The public register of IQPI can be found here: Pool inspector public register

Note: You can also ask for an inspection any time on your pool area to make sure you’re following the pool safety legislation.

Small Heated Pools

There is an exemption available for small heated pools with safety covers where they meet the following criteria:

  • the water surface area is 5m2 or less
  • the side walls of the pools are at least 760mm high above the adjacent floor
  • the side walls cannot be climbed easily.

The safety cover must have signage indicating its child safety features and must be able to:

  • restrict entry of children under five years of age when closed
  • withstand a foreseeable load
  • be readily returned to the closed position.

For enquiries relating to residential swimming or spa pools, email  

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