An autistic boy who almost drowned in a swimming pool north of Auckland yesterday is out of hospital and back home with his family.

The 4-year-old's uncle Ian hauled him out of the water and performed CPR as those around screamed and panicked.

"I just had to get in there, get him out," Ian told the Herald at his Hatfields Beach home yesterday.

His nephew, Conner, was blue-lipped and unresponsive when he found him floating face-up in the pool.


Conner's aunt Mel said today his mother was relieved to have him back safe after the scare.

"Obviously she is very happy with the way things turned out for Conner," the aunt said.

"He is happy to be back with his sisters today and pottering around playing with the iPad, as Conner does."

Ian, who asked that the family's last name not be used, said yesterday Conner, with his mother and sisters, were from Taumarunui, visiting family.

He and the other adults had been helping to unpack his brother David's car at the front of the house on Hibiscus Coast Highway when he saw his niece, Conner's sister, crying.

"She said 'Conner's missing, I can't find him'."

Ian said he knew straight away to head for the pool in his neighbour's garden, which joins his.

Conner can't talk because of his autism but loves shiny things and any kind of water.


Ian had earlier tried to block his nephew from being able to access the pool by putting a makeshift fence at ground level in front of the end of the garden.

But Conner had managed to haul himself up a step further along where the ground sloped away.

The neighbour's pool wasn't fenced and Conner either fell or jumped in.

"He was face-up, blue lips, so I jumped in," Ian said.

"I just had to get in there, get him out."

Struggling to haul Conner over the side of the curved pool, Ian brought him to the steps and began doing CPR.

Someone called 111 and the emergency responder helped Ian and David with CPR over the phone.

As his uncles performed CPR, Conner's mother was beside herself, crying and screaming Ian said.

He said he hoped their family's story reminded people how quickly kids could get into trouble around water.

"It all happened in two or three minutes it was so fast."

Conner was taken to Starship hospital in a serious condition but the family has been told he's recovering and may be home soon.

A police spokeswoman was unable to confirm whether police would investigate, but said it was highly unlikely they wouldn't.

New rules came in today, governing pool fencing.

All pools must still have a complying barrier, which will be checked every three years.

The Auckland Council was yesterday at the house taking measurements around the pool.

Yesterday's near drowning comes almost a week after a 4-year-old boy was found unresponsive in a pool in the East Auckland suburb of Beachlands.