Pool fences

Under the Building Act 2004, residential pools require a means of restricting access. This is shown in the Building Code Section F9 - Restricting access to residential pools (external link)

Fences are the main means of restricting access to pools; the following information is an outline of the requirements they should meet.

Fence around pool area

  • not less than 1200mm in height and not angled more than 15° from vertical, and only sloped away from the pool
  • any horizontal rods, rails and/or wires forming part of the barrier must be 900mm apart vertically
  • no openings in the barrier greater than 100mm in diameter
  • steel mesh under 1200mm in height can have openings no greater than 13mm
  • nothing closer than 1200mm to the top edge that can aid in climbing over the barrier
  • have no projections or indentations greater than 10mm on the surface.

Boundary fences used as part of the pool fence

  • not less than 1800mm high
  • have no openings greater than 100mm
  • be further than 1000mm from the water’s edge
  • have a vertical space between horizontal members starting not more than 150mm from the top.

Pool wall as part of the barrier

  • not less than 1200mm in height
  • not angled more than 15° from vertical, and only sloped away from the pool
  • any horizontal rods, rails, wires forming part of the pool wall must be 900mm apart vertically
  • nothing closer than 1200mm to the top edge that can aid in climbing over the barrier
  • have no projections or indentations greater than 10mm on the surface.

For full information on the requirements for the fences/barrier please view the New Zealand Building Code – Section F9 (external link)

Email us: building-cs@southlanddc.govt.nz

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FAQs

Does my spa/hot tub need a fence? Maybe. Small heated pools with under 5m2 water surface area can have a different means of compliance rather than a fence. If the spa meets the requirements of Alternate Solution 2 of New Zealand Building Code Section F9 (external link) , then it will not need a fence. If it can’t meet these requirements then it will have to be fenced.

Does my kiddies/paddling pool need to be fenced? If the pool’s capacity is under 400mm in depth then it doesn’t need to be fenced. If the pool is normally only filled 150mm depth but is able to be filled 500mm in depth, then it will require a fence. If the pool is only filled 150mm in depth but is only able to be filled 380mm in depth, then it will not require a fence.

Does my fish pond need to be fenced? No, you do not need to fence a fish pond - artificial lakes are not required to be fenced. A fish pond would not require a fence, but an excavation used for swimming, paddling, bathing, wading or bathing would require fencing.

I have a lockable fence around my whole property, do I still need to fence my pool? Yes, you require a fence around the immediate pool area. A fence must be placed around the immediate pool area. The fence on the borders of a property can make up part of the fence surrounding the pool area if it meets the requirements. A property boundary fence and a pool fence are not the same.