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Current swimming pool laws still apply

Media release

24 February 2014 

Current swimming pool laws still apply

Proposed changes to pool safety laws have made a splash with pool owners, however the existing laws still apply.

The proposed changes to pool safety laws announced by the Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment last year are not likely to come into force until 2015. In the meantime, pool owners need to follow the existing pool safety laws.

Auckland Council Building Control Manager Ian McCormick says a number of legal obligations come with owning a pool – including a requirement to register any pool with the council.

“Before you install a pool you must get a building consent and all existing and new pools – including portable pools - must be fenced,” says Mr McCormick.

Auckland Council pool safety inspectors are able to provide free advice to make sure pools are safe and can make advisory visits on Saturdays by appointment.

“Those lucky enough to have a swimming pool or spa pool know what a wonderful asset it is during the summer months but it’s important to remember the risks associated with pool ownership, particularly where a pool is used by young children,” says Mr McCormick.

While numbers of fatal drownings have decreased in recent years, there is still much to be done to minimise the risk of injury or fatalities around household pools.

Simple precautions can make all the difference, such as appropriate fencing, no running around the pool edge, ensuring gates lock automatically, no glassware used near the pool and active supervision of children at all times. 

Temporary pools must also be fenced if they contain water above a depth of 40cm as they can pose a significant risk.

“In addition to the consent you need, we also want owners to complete annual maintenance of pool fencing and gates to ensure they are compliant between tri-annual inspections,” says Mr McCormick.

People can register their pool or check if an existing pool is already registered by calling Auckland Council on (09) 301 0101.  Information on pool fencing and building consent requirements is available through the council’s websitewww.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

Submissions on the proposed changes to the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 can be made to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment select committee up until 10 May 2014, please visit www.dbh.govt.nz for more information.

Ends

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