More than half the swimming pool fences checked in Whangārei so far have failed their first re-inspection.

That number has increased significantly as re-inspections have rolled out across the district.

In March, 11 pool fences were re-inspected after concerns that some that did not comply with regulations may have been approved.

It was prompted by a resident who contacted the council in March seeking a code of compliance for their property before it went on the market.


It was discovered the property's fence, approved several years ago, was not compliant and a child could get into the pool area.

At the time, 10 of the 11 fences in the random audit failed their inspection.

Since then a total of 484 pool fences have been re-inspected, 212 comply with requirements, 252 are in the process of being brought up to standard and 20 pools no longer exist.

The Whangārei District Council's general manager planning and development, Alison Geddes, said generally speaking pool owners have been very honest about their situation, surprised to find fixes were needed and conscientious about getting their fences up to standard.

"We are making steady progress working through the 1200 or so pools in the district and have inspected over a third of pools since March.

"That is faster than we expected and we are on track for completing this job within the timelines set."

She said at the same time the council is steadily updating its system and addressing any new issues it discovers, which means it will be on a good footing in the future.

Geddes said the council is also pleased to see the overall percentage of good fences is much higher than its first random audit indicated.

With only 46 per cent compliant, she said they know there is a long way to go, but the 54 per cent that are faulty are in the system now, people know what they have to do and are getting on with it.

"Pool fencing standards are about keeping children safe and preventing drownings, and I think that is a goal that is universally accepted," Geddes said.

"Our team has also visited companies providing pools and spas, to deliver information for pool owners, and the business operators have been keen to get together with us to help make sure requirements are met from the beginning in future."

Geddes said once the council realised it had a problem and got in touch to tell everyone what had happened and what it planned to do about it, and then set about putting things right, the community had been great.

As summer arrives it is a timely reminder that any pool, including a temporary pool, that is deeper than 40cm, must have a complying fence. Inspections will continue throughout summer and into the New Year.