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Auckland City’s Spa Pool Fencing Rules Change

Auckland City’s Spa Pool Fencing Rules Change

Auckland City Council has adopted a new standard for lockable spa pool covers so that owners have the option of not fencing off their spa pools and can avoid having to apply for an individual exemption to fencing rules.

City Development Committee chairperson Aaron Bhatnagar says it was a common sense decision to give Aucklanders a straightforward and cost effective way to keep their spa pools safe and comply with council bylaws.

“Until now spa pool owners had to either face the cost of building a fence around their spa pool, or apply to council for an exemption. We have decided to adopt a proposed amendment to the Building Act and Fencing of Swimming Pools Act that makes lockable covers an option,” says Councillor Bhatnagar.

The amendment council is adopting is a new standard NZS 8500: 2006 (3:10) that allows for “council general approval” based on strict guidelines for the lockable covers on spa pools with sides at least 760mm above ground.

“We will gain a huge saving in processing time spent on individual exemptions, which means staff can spend their time addressing actual safety issues involving pools,” says Councillor Bhatnagar.

”A locked cover is the ultimate barrier to preventing unwanted pool entry, and we are confident this will improve safety”, said Councillor Bhatnagar. Homeowners want to have safe spa pools, but they shouldn’t have to suffer excessive compliance costs when a lockable lid will achieve home safety.

Auckland City Council intends to approach the Department for Building and Housing to request that the new standard be adapted to include swimming pools as well as spa pools.

“We’d like government to look at the option of allowing people to have secure, lockable lids and alarm systems to keep their swimming pools safe as an alternative to fences, locks and alarms on multiple doors and windows, plus other measures,” says Councillor Bhatnagar.

There are approximately 9,000 swimming pools in Auckland city and around 250 are non-compliant at any one time. Owners whose pools fail to comply can be prosecuted under the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 or the Building Act 2004, or fined in excess of $10,000.

Auckland City Council is committed to building voluntary compliance by pool owners and tenants through ongoing pool-safe education. The council partners with Watersafe Auckland to provide information on water safety, and provides extensive information for pool owners and tenants on their website at www.aucklandcitygovt.nz/council/services/fencing/.

ENDS

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