Buller District Council

Swimming Pools

A swimming pool is defined as: “an excavation, structure, or product that is used or is capable of being used for the purpose of swimming, wading, paddling, or bathing; and includes any such excavation, structure or product that is a spa pool

Swimming Pools

Summer is coming  Council want your summer to be safe. We wish to remind you that your swimming/spa pool must, at all-times remain fully compliant with the Building Act 2004.

For those of you contemplating purchasing a swimming pool, maybe as a Christmas present, Council would like to advise you that any pool capable of holding 400mm or more of water MUST be fenced. In addition, the construction of a pool fence is NOT exempt and therefore you must obtain a Building Consent and achieve a Code Compliance Certificate before erecting/building any pool.

Failure to comply with the requirements of the Building Act could become very costly and may result in a disappointing end to the Christmas season for your children.

There are some instances where a pool may be exempt from being fenced, so please consult your local Council before you begin the process of purchasing a pool.


Swimming Pools – Fenced immediate area of the pool – Fence is in good condition, 1.2m high, no gaps exceeding 100mm (including the bottom of the fence) – no climbable objects outside within 1.2m of the fence (this includes trees), a gate that self-closes at 150mm from the latch.

Exempt Spa pools – at least 760mm high and the same distance away from any other level surfaces, that the sides inhibit climbing and the lid restricts entry to children.  The lid must be able to withstand a reasonably foreseeable load and can be readily returned to the closed position.  The small heated pool (spa) must have signage to indicate its child safety features.

Mechanical failure of gates and latches is the number one cause of drowning fatalities where children have been able to access restricted swimming areas.

You can keep children even safer by:

  • Always supervising children in or near a pool
  • Maintaining the fence and gate are in good condition
  • Always making sure the gate/door to the pool is safely shut
  • Setting rules of behaviour around the pool and teaching your child water safety and swim and survive skills
  • Clearing away toys and flotation aids from the pool area when not in use
  • NEVER prop open the pool gate, or door
  • Learn first aid and resuscitation

Council inspectors will be undertaking inspections of pools on the Council register to ensure your pool meets the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2017 requirements

If you have any concerns with your pool not meeting the requirements – drain this immediately and give Council a call on 03 788 9111.
Auditing Check List 2018

Registration of swimming pools

All swimming pools are required to be registered with Council to enable an examination of the fence by an inspector. This inspection is free of charge however if any faults are found, a fee will be charged on the same basis as for other building consents.


Live Cam