New Zealand swimming pool fencing and rules - Misc. NZ
New Zealand swimming pool fencing and rules

New Zealand swimming pool fencing and rules

How to avoid ruining your beautiful new swimming pool with an ugly fence design!

Words by Shafer Design

How to avoid ruining your beautiful new swimming pool with an ugly fence design

You have a beautiful pool in mind, you’ve gathered together all your inspiration pictures, however if you do not take the right steps during your design process the reality is the swimming pool fencing can ruin it. Whilst your design is being developed you must take into account how the fencing will work with your swimming pool design.

It is imperative that you design your pool from the outset to include pool fencing that complies to NZ Swimming Pool Fencing Rules. The design must go hand in hand with the pool fencing to maximise the potential of your design and not destroy the spaces or flows around the house.

A dramatic glass weir and stone walls  create the pool fencing  and allow this raised level pool to be an absolute feature when viewed from the house
A mixture of glass, stone and hidden steel fencing make the swimming pool fencing almost a feature.

Below is a quick (but not comprehensive) outline of the requirements in NZ for Swimming pool fencing.


Swimming Pool fencing is a reality we must live with in NZ. It is in place to protect children (under 5) from drowning in any pool with water deeper than 400mm. There have been several fatalities that could have been avoided, I think we all agree that some form of protection is worth avoiding future incidents.


The rules in New Zealand are quite strict and are monitored.  Firstly at the building consent stage and then enforced after the pool is constructed.  Following the construction of the pool the swimming pool fencing is checked for compliance and safety at 3 yearly intervals. For more details look at pool fencing requirements under the NZ Building Act 2004.


Different Councils have practice notes and guidelines that they use for interpretations when assessing compliance. At building consent stage, the council will scrutinise the drawings and will decide if the plan complies with the rules. The plans must show elevations and cross sections to prove that there are no climbing points or vulnerable areas. Once satisfied Council will then sign off on the consent, however the final approval is always granted on site.  If something was missed on the drawings, the Council have the right to refuse to sign it off until it is fixed or proven to their satisfaction that it is compliant.


Creating a satisfactory solution is a complicated process, having a designer helping to interpret the rules and talk to council officers is one of the only ways of fully understanding how to best design your swimming pool fencing to maximise opportunities and avoid intrusion on your living spaces or views

We want your pool to be the best it can be and so the next blog will show some of the pool fencing alternatives to make your pool extraordinary... even with its fencing in place.

Without making the pool enclosed, this glass fencing allows the views and enough space to enjoy whilst still meeting all the swimming pool fencing criteria.
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