By NZHJ October 21, 2016 Industry News

Yesterday's new pool fencing law puts more onus on retailers and suppliers to inform consumers about their safety obligations.

Parliament yesterday passed the Building (Pools) Amendment Bill.

From 1 January 2017, all swimming pools have to be inspected and certified every three years to ensure that gates close, fences (or henceforth other alternative barriers) have been maintained and that no changes have occurred that enable children to get access.

On top of new enforcement tools like notices to fix and infringement notices, also new are requirements on retailers and manufacturers to inform purchasers of their legal obligations for child safety.

Another change is that small heated spa pools and hot tubs no longer have to be fenced - as long as they have a lockable, child-resistant cover and are at least 760mm above ground.

The new law also explicitly excludes garden and drainage ponds from having to meet swimming pool fencing requirements.

Because these new swimming pool safety requirements are now incorporated into the Building Act, there should be better integration with other safety and building regulators as well as enabling inspections and certification to be done by approved, independently qualified pool inspectors rather than just council officers.

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