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Swimming Pool Fences

Tue, 9 Nov 2004

Swimming Pool Fences: WCC Contempt Press Release from POAG (Pool Owners Action Group) Chairman: Gary Osborne

Waitakere City Council has shown contempt for its ratepayers, contempt for the Court and contempt for common sense.

The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 has now been in force for 17 years yet between 1/1/02 and 10/9/04 Waitakere City Council has issued 644 prosecution notices to its pool owners, some of whom have already had 2 certificates of compliance.

When pool owners were told they couldn't have tables and chairs in a pool area and barbecues were not allowed, when they were told to put fences between ranchsliders and pools seperated only by a few metres. When they were persistently confronted with changes of mind by pool inspectors, the stage came when they cried enough's enough and banded together demanding common sense.

On 1 October Judge Randerson made a decision which didn't go Council's way. Prior to this several Council officers had attended a full day's hearing at ratepayers' expense on 2 August 2004.

At last a victory for COMMON SENSE thought I. But -- NO!! Since 1 October, a total of 4 prosecution notices have been withdrawn yet 60 notices were sent out between 1 October and 5 November threatening NEW prosecutions.

Today I was staggered to learn Waitakere City Council is now seeking a second declaratory judgment. It must be great to have an inexhaustible supply of ratepayer money to squander on litigation. The irony is that the pool owners get hit twice --- defending themselves against a Council which won't accept a Judge's decision, then supplying that litigant- thirsty Council with more ratepayer funds to quench its thirst in the form of rate increases at rates consistently above inflation!

If you are a concerned pool owner anywhere in New Zealand, check out our website www.poag.org.nz. We would certainly like to add to our ever-increasing membership.


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