Steady progress has been made re-inspecting more than 1000 swimming pool fences in Whangārei to check they comply with the Building Act.

In April last year, Whangārei District Council announced it would be re-checking all the district's 1277 pools following a random audit where 10 of the 11 fences checked were found to be non-compliant.

It was prompted by a resident who contacted the council in March 2018 seeking a code of compliance for their property before it went on the market.

It was discovered the property's pool fence, approved several years ago, was no longer compliant and a child could get into the pool area.


A year on from the discovery, council planning and development general manager Alison Geddes said 795 pools have been inspected so far.

Four hundred and sixty four pools have been found to be compliant, 251 are non-compliant, 45 are empty and 28 have been removed.

She explained the totals don't quite add up because not all information has been entered into the system yet, and some pools are coming in new while others are closed down or no longer there.

The percentage of compliant pools has risen since December when of the 484 pool fences inspected by then, just 212 complied, 252 were in the process of being bought up to standard and 20 no longer existed.

"We are working with the owners to bring non-complying barriers up to standard. That includes identifying what is wrong and what remedies are needed, setting a timeframe and then checking the barrier again after the work has been done."

"We are about halfway there, so on track for the two-year timeframe."

Geddes said pool owners have been responsible and understanding of the problem and approach taken to sorting it out.

"Even though summer is over, children's fascination with pools is a year-round phenomenon, so we remind everyone who has a pool to double check their pool barriers are still safe and compliant."


She said more information on what to check is available on the council's website.

Pool owner's obligations:
- It is the pool owner or operator's obligation to comply with the legal requirements to have a physical barrier around the pool.

- Pool owners and operators must advise the council that they have a pool on their property or are going to construct one - this includes spa pools and hot tubs.

- You need a building consent before constructing any type of pool or building or altering a fence around a pool.

- If a pool does not have the appropriate physical barrier to the standard as required by the legislation you must keep it empty.