Rates, Building and Property

Swimming pool fencing requirements

There are laws to keep swimming pools safe. Find out how to safeguard your pool.

In-ground pools

The immediate pool area

  1. Clothesline, children's play equipment and sandpits are not permitted in pool area
  2. It should only contain items used for pool activities, i.e, patio furniture, pool equipment


  1. Height of fence 1.2m (minimum) from ground level on the outside
  2. Gap under fence and gate(s) no greater than 100mm
  3. No climb points on the outside of the fencing. Any permanent structures on the outside of the pool fence must be at least 1.2 Metres from the fence.
  4. Minimum of 900mm between horizontal rails
  5. Gaps between vertical cladding 100mm maximum and horizontal cladding 10mm maximum
  6. Mesh size no greater than 50mm - 1.8m (minimum) high
  7. Mesh size no greater than 10mm - 1.2m (minimum) high


  1. Windows which form part of pool fencing require limiters, restricting opening to a maximum of 100mm.

Doors which form part of the pool fencing

  1. Are required to open away from pool area
  2. Must self-close and self-latch from 150mm ajar
  3. Latch/Handle must be at a minimum of 1.5mm from the bottom of the door
  4. They must not have any hold open devices


  1. Gates are required to open away from pool area
  2. Gates must self close and self latch from 150mm ajar
  3. Latches on pool side of gate can be greater or equal to 1.2m high but must not be accessible from the outside of the pool area by a child
  4. Latches on the outside of the gate must be at a minimum of 1.5m high

Pools above ground level

  1. All sides of the pool must be at a minimum height of 1.2m from ground level, e.g. Para pool
  2. Ladder/steps to be removable
  3. No climb points
  4. Smooth vertical sides

More information

For more information and advice or to book an inspection please contact us on 06 356 8199.

Information on the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act can be found at building.govt.nz

Please note the rules listed on this page are not comprehensive. Council is required under the Act to inspect your pool fencing every five years. 

Frequently asked questions

What is classed as a pool?

An excavation, structure or product that is used, or is capable of being used for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling or bathing. This includes spa pools.

Who is responsible?

Responsibility of fencing a pool lies with any property owner that has a pool on their property. If the property is tenanted or leased it falls on both the owner and the tenant or leasees.  Council's responsibility is to ensure the pool is fenced in accordance with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987.

What about existing pools?

All pools are required to comply with the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987.  A pool owner is not entitled to immunity from complying simply because an inspection has been passed previously.

What about new pools?

Owners are required to apply for a building consent for all new pools being installed.  This includes spa pools.

What if I fail to meet requirements?

Should you fail to comply with the requirements of the Act, this could result in expensive legal proceedings.  The Act has been put in place to keep children safe.

What if my pool does not comply?

You are required to empty your pool down to a maximum depth of 400mm, or otherwise effectively restrict access to the pool area to the satisfaction of a building officer until you are able to rectify the non-compliances.

Backflow preventers

The Building Code requires backflow preventers to be fitted on to the pipe or hose systems used to fill the pool.

The most commonly used device for hose filled pools is the vacuum breaker.

More information can be obtained from your pool supplier or a local plumbing merchant.