Pool Barriers - Residential

Barriers for residential pools must restrict access by unsupervised children under the age of five years. This requirement applies for the life of the pool (except when the pool is empty).

All residential pool barriers must meet the requirements of the Building Act 2004.

Pool barriers need a building consent

While some swimming pools with less than 35,000 Litres water capacity may now be exempted from the requirements of a Building Consent, all pool fencing must only be installed under an approved Building Consent. For more information on exempt building work visit MBIE. Visit our building consent page for more information.


The Building Act 2004 places a requirement on Councils to ensure that all residential pool barriers are inspected at least once every three years to determine whether the pool barriers remain compliant. This means that an inspection is required even if your pool barrier has previously been inspected and was deemed to be compliant in the past.  

To cover the cost of this inspection requirement a fee is charged at the time of the inspection.  Refer to Building consent Fees and Charges .

You can choose to have your pool inspection carried out by either the Council or an Independently Qualified Pool Inspector.

Check if your pool is on our register

We keep a register of all pools in our jurisdiction.  You can check if your pool is on our register by calling us on 07 868 0200.

Does my Pool need to have a barrier?

If your pool has a maximum depth of water of 400mm or more and is normally used or intended to be used for swimming, paddling, or bathing etc then it must have a compliant pool barrier. This includes temporary or portable pools which are only erected during summer months.

You do not need to construct a pool barrier if:
  • The swimming pool sits above ground with smooth vertical side walls that are a minimum of 1200mm high and with no permanent steps, objects, projections or surfaces that could enable a small child under 5 years to climb into the pool.
  • The depth of the water is maintained at less than 400mm (such as a shallow paddling pool or an empty swimming pool)
To find out more detailed pool safety guidance visit
Further information can also be found here