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

 

Mayor seeks clarity on pool fencing interpretation

Mayor seeks to clarify pool fencing interpretations April 28, 2004

North Shore City Mayor George Wood is calling for a review of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act (FOSP) 1987 and wants his fellow regional elected representatives to back him.

His plea stems from what he describes as the murky interpretations and lack of clarity the legislation presents to pool owners, designers, builders, industry groups and local authorities.

"The legislation has proved controversial and difficult to enforce since its inception. Parts of it are unclear and its current association with the Building Act is confusing."

Mayor Wood will take his views to next month's Local Government New Zealand Zone 1 Committee meeting* where he hopes to get backing from other local authorities to lobby the government for a review of the FOSP.

Clarification would be sought on issues such as the legitimacy of lockable spa pool covers, a clear definition of the immediate pool area, the situation where doors from the house directly enter the pool area and the interaction between FOSP, the building code and the Building Act.

The FOSP was introduced in 1987 as an attempt to reduce the number of pre-school drownings in home swimming pools.

"When the Act was introduced, most councils believed its primary aim was preventing young children gaining access to the pool from outside the property," George Wood says.

Two recent determinations from the Building Industry Authority (BIA) have had a significant impact on pool fencing approvals and their interpretation.

The BIA determinations are binding decisions on technical matters of doubt or dispute about compliance with the Building Code.

The new interpretations mean that lockable spa covers are no longer acceptable as an alternative to compliant pool fencing, and that it is no longer acceptable to have doors from the house entering the immediate pool area unless it is a confined area and access is restricted.

"Due to the new BIA interpretations, local authorities are now left to decipher the existing legislation - and they are doing so in different ways.

"The intent of the changes is to keep young children safe, but creates confusion for people who previously complied and now find they don't," he says.

North Shore City has an estimated 5100 homes with pools; a large proportion of these would no longer meet the new requirement as their situations may no longer meet the interpretation of the immediate pool area as outlined in the BIA determination.

"There are two Acts of Parliament that deal with pools: the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act and the Building Act. This has caused confusion and frustration for the local authorities who are required to enforce the rules and pool owners who need to follow them," George Wood says.

A regional group of council officers have been working to seek clarity on pool fencing rules and regulations from the Government to eliminate ambiguity in the future and ensure that everyone shares a clear, common understanding of what is required.

"The legislation needs a good towelling down or pool owners, builders, designers and inspectors will continue to be left unsure of its changing currents.

"A review will end the confusion for everyone, and put a stop to some unclear interpretations that have been highlighted by the media recently.

"In the meantime, we are working with pool owners to provide them with practical solutions to achieve compliance with the new rules in a reasonable amount of time," Mayor Wood says.

North Shore City pool fencing officer, Warwick Robertson, says his council has written to all pool owners advising them of the requirements.

"We're encouraging people who are considering installing a pool to do as much homework as possible to ensure safety standards and pool fencing requirements are met. We are also advising our residents to make sure they are dealing with reputable fencing contractors who know the rules.

"People are welcome to contact me or another of our Environmental Services pool fencing officers by calling North Shore City Actionline on 486 8600."

* Sector lobby group, Local Government New Zealand represents the national interests of NZ's 86 councils. Its Zone 1 meeting will be held in Takapuna, North Shore City on May 6.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

PM's Press Conference: Pike Re-Entry Agency

At today's post-cabinet press conference Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was joined by Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little to announce plans for the new agency for re-entry of the mine.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, will be officially established on 31 January 2018 and will work with the Pike River families with the intention of manned entry of the drift before March 2019. More>>

 

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

Speaking Of Transport: Public Engagement On Wellington Scenarios

“Our work on possible solutions for Wellington’s transport future is ongoing, but has progressed to the stage where we’re ready to share our ideas with the public and seek their feedback to help guide our next steps...” More>>

ALSO:

Parental Leave: National's Time-Sharing Change Fails

National has proposed a change to the Parental Leave and Employment Protection Amendment Bill that would allow both parents to take paid parental leave at the same time, if that is what suits them best. More>>

ALSO:

Train Free Thursday: Workers Strike To Defend Terms Of Employment

"They signed up to these conditions a year ago when they got the contract for Wellington's rail services. Now they're trying to increase profits by squeezing frontline workers." More>>

ALSO:

Seclusion: Ombudsman Emphasises Importance Of Monitoring

Disability Rights Commissioner Paula Tesoriero says that while there have been changes to the Education (Update) Amendment Act 2017 to prohibit the use of seclusion, the report is an important reminder of the importance of regular monitoring of schools. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election