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Safety barriers for swimming pools built in 2017 or later

How do you make your pool safety barrier compliant? Here are some of the basic requirements.

Whether your pool is portable or fixed, the same rules apply. 

New Zealand has one of the highest fatal drowning rates in the OECM, and sadly, all too many of these deaths were preventable.

The information below covers the key rules around pool safety in New Zealand. However, for all the rules, see restricting access to residential pools.

If your swimming pool was built before 2017, different rules apply.

Swimming pool safety barrier rules pre January 2017

Pool barrier requirements

Pool barriers must:

  • extend around the immediate pool area
  • be at least 1.2m in height above any permanent structure, or object permanently placed on the ground within 1.2m of either side
  • have no horizontal rails on the outside of the barrier (or adjoining barrier), which could be used for climbing unless the rails are spaced at least 900mm apart
  • not have any gaps exceeding 100mm under it
  • not have any gaps exceeding 100mm between any vertical rails.

Walls, boundary fences and buildings can make up part of a pool barrier. Boundary fences must be at least 1.8m in height. 

Pool gates and doors

Gates into the pool area must:

  • open away from the pool area
  • self-close and self-latch unaided from any distance.

The gate latch must be a minimum of:

  • 1.5m above the ground, if accessible from the outside of the barrier
  • 1.2m above the ground, if accessible from the inside of the barrier by reaching over or through a hole in the gate or door.

Last Reviewed: 11/12/2019

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