Water Safety (Pools) - Safekids NZ child safety information


Water Safety (Pools)
Help us challenge proposed changes to The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act

The Government is proposing to repeal the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act (1987) and replace it with an amendment to the Building Act. These changes include the move towards voluntary compliance, lengthy period between inspections and the removal of the requirement to fence spas or hot tubs:

Current rules under Fencing of Swimming Pools Act (1987)

  • Pool fence must be 1.2m in height
  • Self-latching gate
  • Spas and hot pools require fencing
  • Three-yearly inspections
  • Has reduced deaths from 10 each year to three.

Proposed: Part of the Building Act

  • Barriers will be "performance based"
  • Five-yearly inspections
  • No fencing required for spas and hot pools

The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 has greatly reduced the number of pre-schoolers drowning with the number of under fives drowning in home pools in the past ten years down 45% on the previous decade.

Safekids Aotearoa and our colleagues across the water safety sector are hugely concerned that young New Zealanders, particularly pre-schoolers, will drown in home pools, spas and hot tubs if the changes go ahead. Join us in making a submission to challenge the proposed changes: 

Download a submission template here.

For information on how and where to send your submission, please click here. 

Click here to read the Safekids Aotearoa submission.

Click here to read Water Safety New Zealand's submission

Closing date for submissions is Thursday, 5 November 2015. For more information, email info@safekids.nz.

Child Drowning Injuries in NZ


children die every year after a drowning event.


are hospitalised every year


year old kids are most at risk.

View Water Safety (Pools) Resources

Click the link above to order or download resources (i.e. posters, flyers, infographics) relating to this injury issue.

  • Ages 0-2 years: Always maintain hand contact with babies and stay within sight and reach of your child in the bath.
  • Ages 1-5 years: Stay within sight and reach of your child when in, on and around water.
  • Actively supervise your kids when they are in, on and around water.
  • Use four-sided pool fencing with a self-closing, self-latching gate.

For more safety tips, visit the Water Safety NZ and WaterSafe Auckland websites.

Online Resources

Learn more