Rates, Building and Property

Swimming pool fencing requirements

There are laws to keep swimming pools safe. Here are the fencing rules at a glance.

We also encourage pool owners to read the guide at the bottom of this page. If you still have questions, please give us a call.

In-ground pools

  • Clotheslines, children's play equipment and sandpits are not permitted in the pool area.
  • The immediate area should only contain items used for pool activities, i.e. patio furniture or pool equipment.

Fencing specifications

  • Fences need to be a minimum height of 1.2m from ground level on the outside.
  • The gap under fences and gate(s) can’t be more than 100mm.
  • There cannot be any climb points on the outside of the fence, and any permanent structures on the outside of the pool fence must be at least 1.2 metres from the fence.
  • Horizontal rails have a minimum of 900mm between rails.
  • A maximum of 100mm for gaps between vertical cladding, and a 10mm maximum for gaps between horizontal cladding.
  • Mesh size no greater than 50mm for fences 1.8m and over.
  • Mesh size no greater than 10mm for fences 1.2m and over.


  • Windows that form part of the pool fencing require limiters, restricting openings to a maximum of 100mm.
  • Doors that are part of the pool fencing
  • Doors must open away from the pool area.
  • They must self-close and self-latch from 150mm ajar.
  • The latch or handle must be at a minimum of 1.5mm from the bottom of the door.
  • They must not have any hold open devices.


  • Gates must open away from the pool area.
  • Gates must self-close and self-latch from 150mm ajar.
  • Latches on the pool side of the 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.
  • Latches on the outside of the gate must be at least 1.5m high.

Above-ground pools including Para pools

  • All sides of the pool must be at least 1.2m from ground level.
  • Ladder and steps need to be removable.
  • No climb points.
  • Smooth vertical sides.

Please note the rules listed on this page are not comprehensive. For more detail see the resources at the bottom of this page.

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?

The responsibility for fencing a pool lies with the property owner. If the property is tenanted or leased the responsibility 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.

What about new pools?

If you want to install a pool or spa, you will need to apply for building consent.

What if I fail to meet requirements?

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

What if my pool doesn’t comply?

If your pool fails an inspection, you need to empty it to a maximum depth of 400mm, or otherwise restrict access to the pool area to the building officer’s satisfaction, until you can fix the problems.

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. Talk to your local pool supplier or plumber.

Book a pool inspection

For more information or to book an inspection, contact us on 06 356 8199