Navigating Pool Safety Regulations and Permits in Tauranga

sliding door to outdoor room with swimming pool and glass fence

Promising hours of fun and relaxation, swimming pools are a wonderful addition to any backyard. If you’re thinking about building a pool, it’s important to understand New Zealand rules and regulations. For example, all private swimming pools are required to be fenced by law. Luckily, there are plenty of options to choose from with a variety of colours and styles.

While navigating pool fence regulations, safety requirements, and permits can seem overwhelming, the team at Zones Landscaping have got you sorted. As experienced swimming pool contractors, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about building a pool fence in Tauranga, from local requirements to creative design ideas. 

Understanding Tauranga's pool fencing requirements

To help you understand pool fencing requirements in New Zealand, we’ve put together the most important things you need to know.

The minimum pool fence height in New Zealand is 1200mm on all sides of the pool. The fence cannot be climbable and the gap between the floor and panels mustn't exceed 100mm.

Swimming pool gates and fences need to open away from the pool and it must have a self-closing and self-latching device. If you’re installing latches on the outside of the gate, they need to be 1500mm above the ground.

Another important thing to note is that if you live in Tauranga and share a boundary fence, then you and your neighbour are both equally responsible for maintaining the fence and ensuring that it meets safety requirements.

Pools that are less than 400mm deep do not need to be fenced. Equally, if the pool is inside your house or sits above ground with smooth vertical walls that are 1200mm high or more, then it does not need to be fenced.

small swimming pool with wood fences on each side

Tauranga pool fence inspection details

Once you have constructed a pool fence, you will need to book a pool fence inspection. Private pool fences need to be checked by the local council once every three years (within six months on either side of the last inspection). You will also require permission from your local council before erecting a pool fence.  

To ensure your pool fence inspection runs as smoothly as possible, here are some key things to be aware of:

Inspection process and frequency

In Tauranga, pool inspections cost $165 per inspection. The council inspector will check to see if your current fencing meets the safety requirements. If new work is required, you may need to get building consent. As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to pay for any repairs or alterations to your pool fence. If you are unclear about anything, the inspector can advise you about the process.

Common issues

Pool fences often fail inspections for the following reasons: 

  • Fences do not meet height requirements
  • Gates do not self-close
  • Plants, bushes and vegetation do not meet barrier requirements
  • Anything (including plants and vegetation) that make the fence climbable
Check out this combined pool fence in Omaha, Rodney

What happens if you fail your pool fence inspection?

If your pool fence or barrier fails the inspection, you’ll need to book another check within a set timeframe (usually around three weeks). If there is a major safety concern, the council may conduct another inspection within as little as 48 hours. Once your fence is compliant, you won’t need another one for three years.  

Ideas for your pool fencing

Once you’ve got your head around pool fence rules in New Zealand, it’s time to let the fun begin. Pool landscaping can transform your space and enhance your outdoor area if done right. 

For something simple yet stylish, take inspiration from this modern family garden in Tauranga which was transformed into the ideal outdoor entertainment area. To complete the look was the perfect pool, with attractive and easy to maintain glass fencing that offered an added level of sophistication. 

Glass is also a popular option for waterfront properties, like this stunning landscape in Welcome Bay, Tauranga. Used to create an infinity pool effect, while keeping everyone safe without disrupting the view, Zones Landscaping also ensured the surrounding drainage and ground levels met council requirements.

Aluminium fences are another low maintenance option. Available in a variety of colours, it’s weather resistant and free from rust and rot. Alternatively, you may want the fence around your pool to be a feature, which can be achieved with coloured concrete.

For more top tips and landscaping ideas to help you create your poolscape and add a touch of style to your pool surrounds, speak to your local Zones Landscaping Consultant today!

swimming pool with glass fence
Modern family garden perfect for entertaining in Tauranga

Fence your pool with help from Zones

Get in touch today and let Zones take care of your pool regulations and permits!

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