Table 3

Inconsistencies in interpretation and enforcement

IssueInconsistencies/difficulties
Above ground poolsAuthorities varied over whether building consent was required for above ground pools under the Building Code. 52% believed it was, 14% believed it was not, and 38% believed it varied according to features such as the height of the pool sides, capacity of the pool, or the depth of water.
Exemptions for spa poolsIf spa pool covers were solid, lockable, and able to sustain the weight of a child, some authorities granted exemptions (11%). Others indicated that spa pool covers would not be granted exemptions in any circumstance.
Immediate pool areaThe fenced area must not be more than the area used “in conjunction with the use of the pool”. Authorities noted difficulties in defining what that area can contain, and what size it can be. Although guidelines have been produced, these do not carry the weight of law and can be contested.
Sliding doors onto pool areaOnly some authorities (38%) required self closing mechanisms on sliding/folding doors that allow access from the house to the pool area. This inconsistency appeared to arise from differences between the requirements of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act and the requirements of the Building Code.
Perimeter (boundary) fencingWhere a pool fence relies partly on a perimeter fence compliance is sometimes affected by the actions of neighbours, making enforcement difficult. Examples include neighbours altering the fence or placing objects near to it, making it scalable by children.