Acceptable Solutions and territorial authority guidance for pool safety

MBIE has published two new Acceptable Solutions for Clause F9 ‘Means of restricting access to residential pools’, and guidance for territorial authorities on provisions for residential pools under the Building Act 2004.

On 1 January 2017 the Building (Pools) Amendment Act repealed the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act and inserted new provisions into the Building Act 2004. The Amendment Act created Building Code Clause F9.

The new Acceptable Solutions

F9/AS1 applies to barriers to residential pools and F9/AS2 applies to small heated pools with a water surface area of 5m² or less, such as spa pools.

F9/AS1 uses most of the requirements for barriers and fences, gates and doors that were given by the Schedule to the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act.

Small heated pools may have a removable cover instead of a fence as long as it complies with the requirements of the Building Code. F9/AS2 specifies the construction of covers and their robustness. Many of the covers manufactured over recent years are likely to meet the F9/AS2 specification.

MBIE sought feedback on the proposed new Acceptable Solutions for Clause F9 from 2 November–16 December 2016.

Territorial authority guidance

The Building Act requires territorial authorities to enforce the requirements for residential pools to have barriers. The guidance describes the residential pool provisions and aims to help territorial authorities to enforce the requirements.

F9 Restricting access to residential pools has the Acceptable Solutions and the territorial authority guidance.