NEW POOL SAFETY LEGISLATION
November 21 2016
New pool safety legislation comes into effect on 1 January 2017. The key change is the repeal of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987, with new pool safety provisions now included in the Building Act 2004 under a new Clause F9 Means of restricting access to residential pools in the Building Regulations 1992 (at time of writing F9 is not yet published with the NZBC AS/VM supporting documents).
Clauses 1 to 10 of the Schedule to the 1987 Act remain in force as an acceptable solution during the transitional period until a new NZBC F9/AS1 is developed. NZS 8500 Safety barriers and fences around swimming pools, spas and hot tubs offers a potential practical alternative solution and as a guide to wider considerations of pool safety.
Other key changes in the Act include new definitions of both "abode" (house) and "pool", a new inspections regime, allowing safety covers to be used as barriers for spa pools and additional enforcement tools for TAs. While "an artificial lake" is now excluded from pool safety requirements, it is not clearly defined and might need clarification with your local authority.
As the changes are wide-ranging it is recommended that you download and familiarise yourself with details of the new Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016.
Masterspec has amended all affected sections so they now refer to NZBC F9 and/or NZS 8500. Once MBIE publish an NZBC F9/AS1 the sections will be amended again to reflect it. As consultation on the Acceptable Solution is being called for now, we don't expect a result until well into 2017.
Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016
MBIE information on the Act
MBIE Consultation on new Acceptable Solutions for residential pool barriers