Spas/hot tubs

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

Spas, hot tubs and any other small heated pool with a surface area of under 5m2 can have a different means of making the pool safe rather than a fence.

The following is an outline of these requirements:

Sides of the small heated pool

  • Not less than 760mm in height
  • Not angled more than 15° from vertical, and only sloped away from the pool
  • Nothing closer than 1200mm to the top edge that can aid climbing on top of the pool
  • Have no projections or indentations greater than 10mm on the surface

The cover

  • Support 20kg in the centre of the cover
  • Shall be sloped to prevent water from pooling on top
  • Fastened with lockable snap fasteners with a minimum width of 33mm
  • Cover cannot be lifted more than 100mm when closed
  • Warning signage displayed on two opposite sides of the cover

Council has found that the warning signage is quite often the failing point for small heated pools. To help you comply, Council has printed suitable warning signage - please contact us if you would like us to send these out before your inspection, or talk to the inspector on the day of your inspection and they will be able to provide them.

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

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Does my spa/hot tub need a fence? Maybe. Small heated pools 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 the 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.

I just brought a pool/spa but they didn’t tell me I needed all this? Every person who manufactures, sells, or offers for sale in New Zealand any new product which would be classified as a residential pool must ensure customers are supplied with a notice which summarises the responsibilities of owners, pool operators, and occupiers under section 162C(4) of the New Zealand Building Act.