New pool safety legislation comes into effect on 1 January 2017, after the passing of the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 into law. The new Act repeals the current Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 and the new pool safety requirements provisions will be included in the 2004 Building Act, under a new clause — F9.
How do these changes affect specifiers and homeowners?
The main purpose of the NZBC Clause F9 is to improve the level of pool fencing compliance with the introduction of mandatory three yearly inspections and enforcement tools for conformity. Council or independent pool inspectors now have the power to issue infringement notices and notices to fix non-compliant pools.
Provision is included for the current NZS8500:2006 to be an Acceptable Solution for pool swimming pool fencing, until a new acceptable solution is issued. Therefore the requirements for minimum heights and maximum gaps have not changed and will continue to be the legal standards.
Other changes are allowing lockable covers to be used as a suitable barrier for spa pools and the choice of alarming doors that form part of a pool barrier, as an alternative to automatic door closures.
Juralco Pool Fencing products continue to be compliant, but documentation has been updated to reflect this change, from "complies with the Fencing of Swimming Pool Act 1987", to "complies with the Building Code Clause F9 and section 162C of the Building Act".