Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Insufficient Fences May Lead To Prosecution

Auckland City is assisting homeowners to ensure that all swimming pools and their surrounding fences comply with the law.

Under the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987, all pools must meet certain requirements and Council intends to inspect all the 8500 known pools in Auckland City by June 2001.

A team of swimming pool inspectors is currently visiting every property in Auckland City that has a pool, to check they are fenced in compliance with the Act. If additional work needs to be carried out, owners are notified and the Council rechecks for compliance.

Bill Cartwright of Auckland City Environments says: “The law governing the safety of swimming pool fencing is not a by-law, but rather an Act of Parliament. While Auckland City Council is not the instigator of the law, it is our responsibility to ensure that swimming pool owners comply with it. Many people are simply unaware that should a child drown in their pool, they can be charged with manslaughter if their pool doesn’t meet the legal standards,” he adds.

There has been on-going concern and debate about the desirability and method of fencing swimming pools for many years, including how this is enforced, and the roles and responsibilities of pool owners and Council. The Act makes it clear that issues such as aesthetics or the fact that children do not live on the property are not acceptable reasons for lack of pool fencing. The courts have taken strong lines against those who refuse to co-operate, and have given clear direction on responsibilities of local authorities to enforce the Act.

Should the Council’s requirements to bring the fence up to standard not be met, the owner may face prosecution in the District Court. This could result in a fine and an order to drain the pool. Council site files also record the non-compliance, which could affect the future sale of the property.

Water Safety NZ statistics show that at least five New Zealand children under six years old drown in home swimming and spa pools each year. For every child who drowns, there are at least nine others involved in serious near drowning accidents. Such accidents can leave children with permanent, moderate-to-severe brain damage. Most of these are in pools that did not comply with the Act at the time of drowning. This means that either pools were not fenced adequately or that gates were not self-closing and latching.

These figures are among the highest in the developed world. Young children do not understand the dangers and can drown in less than two minutes.

The council makes available to homeowners a free ‘lifesaver information kit’ which contains a variety of information about compliance, including a 30-point pool fencing checklist. Further information is available on the Council’s website (www.akcity.govt.nz).


For further advice or a copy of the ‘information kit’ contact:
Auckland City Environments
Vivian Rosoman ( pool fencing administrator), tel 353 9143.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news