Swimming pools and spas

The Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 came into effect on 1 January 2017 and requires all pools with a maximum depth of water of 400mm or more to:

  • have a physical barrier that restricts access, and
  • be inspected every three years.

As per the Act, any work to do with swimming pool fencing requires building consent, regardless of whether a pool already exists or is being installed.

Apply for building consent  

Swimming pool inspections

Swimming pool owners can choose who undertakes the three-yearly inspection of their pool, either Council or an independently qualified pool inspector (IQPI).

An IQPI is a person accepted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) as qualified to carry out the periodic inspections. Council has a legal obligation to make sure all pool barriers comply with the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016. If you're a pool owner, we will send you a letter informing you when your pool inspection is due. You will be able to choose to hire an IQPI in your area to inspect your pool, or have Council carry out the inspection at a cost per inspection, as outlined in our fees and charges. Trading Standards has a list of IQPIs available online and will add to it when more register.

If your inspection shows that your pool isn't compliant, you'll have time to get it up to standard and we'll keep in touch to make sure we can help you get there. It's the law for pool owners to make sure their pool barriers comply, so owners who don't can be issued with a notice to fix under the Building Act if action isn't taken.

Spas and small heated pools

If you have a spa or small heated pool and it meets the conditions below, then the three-yearly mandatory inspections won't apply to it and you'll be responsible for its compliance. We'll just need to check it once to be sure it complies.

Spa pools can use lockable lids as a barrier if:

  • the pool has walls at least 760mm high and can't be climbed; and
  • the water surface area is 5 square meters or less; and
  • the cover restricts entry of children under 5 years of age when closed; and
  • the cover is capable of supporting a reasonably foreseeable load, and can be easily returned to the closed position; and
  • the cover has signage indicating its child safety features.

Notify us of any changes in pool ownership

If you're a pool owner and have any changes to your pool ownership status, including spas and small heated pools, please email us. Alternatively, you can call us on 06 356 8199.