The owners of above ground spa pools and hot tubs in Auckland City can now secure them with lockable covers instead of having to fence them or apply for a fencing exemption.
The Auckland City Council has adopted a new standard that allows for "council general approval" based on strict guidelines for lockable covers on spa pools with sides at least 760mm above ground.
Under the guidelines, spa pools must be locked when not in use, the locks must not be able to be readily opened by children under the age of 6 and the cover must be able to withstand the weight of at least 20kg.
There are believed to be about 4000 spa pools and hot tubs in the city. Until now, owners have had to fence them or apply to the council for an exemption for a lockable cover.
City development committee chairman Aaron Bhatnagar said the standard would give Auckland City residents a cost-effective way to keep their spa pools and comply with bylaws. He said the council intended to approach the Department for Building and Housing to request that the new standard be adapted to include swimming pools.
"We'd like the 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," Mr Bhatnagar said.