For councils

All residential pool barriers must be inspected at least every 3 years to prove they comply with pool barrier requirements. These inspections can be carried out by territorial authorities or independently qualified pool inspectors.

MBIE responsibilities

The Ministry of Building, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) is responsible for ensuring that independently qualified pool inspectors (pool inspectors) are reliable, so that territorial authorities can rely on inspections carried out by them without question.

Territorial authority responsibilities

Ensuring inspections occur

Territorial authorities are responsible for ensuring pool barriers are inspected every 3 years to make sure they comply. Small heated pools with safety covers, such as spa pools and hot tubs, are exempt from this requirement.


  • must occur, at the latest, 6 months after the anniversary of the pool's completion
  • may occur any time before the anniversary — for example, in order to manage the overall inspection workload, or in response to a complaint about a pool.

The Building Performance website has more information about when inspections are due.

Building Performance website — Inspecting residential pools(external link)

Note, however, that territorial authorities aren't required to review or audit compliance decisions made by pool inspectors.

Providing information for pool owners and inspectors

While territorial authorities are not required to have a public register of pools in their district, that information may be obtainable, as building consents — including consents for pool barriers — are publicly available.

Territorial authorities are not required to promote the option of engaging a pool inspector to pool owners. However, information given to pool owners about the inspection process will need to refer to pool inspectors, so some explanation about them is recommended.

Charging fees for information

Territorial authorities are permitted to charge fees to process documents and provide information to pool owners or pool inspectors, where applicable, under existing powers to charge fees under the Building Act 2004 or Local Government Act 2002.

Granting waivers and modifications

Only building consent authorities may grant the building consent required to install a pool barrier.

As part of the building consent process:

  • a building consent authority may approve an Acceptable Solution or an alternative solution
  • a territorial authority may grant a waiver or modification to the pool barrier requirements.

Maintaining processes and records

Territorial authorities will need to have processes and records for the following.

  • Ensuring pool barriers are inspected at least every 3 years — including compiling a list of pools they’re aware of to ensure and enable administration of periodic inspections.
  • Notifying pool owners of the date their pool barriers will be inspected.
  • Responding to enquiries.
  • Providing documents about initial compliance, waivers or Acceptable Solutions. Pool owners and/or pool inspectors may ask for these records before the periodic inspection.
  • Receiving certificates of inspection and notices of non-compliance from pool inspectors.
  • Ensuring compliance with pool owners and pool inspectors. Pool owners may choose a pool inspector to undertake re-inspection of their pool after any remedial work made due to non-compliance identified at a periodic inspection. This should be taken into account when considering what enforcement steps to follow.
  • Sending communications and complaints to MBIE if they:
    • disagree with a pool inspector’s inspection decision, or
    • have concerns about the conduct or other aspects of a pool inspector.

Tip Icon Violet2 Note

Territorial authorities will already have processes for handling pool inspections that can be adapted for pool inspector inspections.

The Building Performance website has more information about managing non-compliance.

Building Performance website — Building infringement scheme guidelines(external link)

Assisting pool owners and pool inspectors

We recommend that territorial authorities provide information, communications or notifications as follows.

To pool owners, regarding:

  • pool barrier requirements
  • 3-yearly inspections
  • when their pool needs to be inspected, including information about process and fees
  • process and guidance for compliance.

To pool inspectors, regarding:

  • obtaining documentation of the original consent, waiver and alternative solutions, including information about any applicable fees
  • procedures for providing certificates, notifications of non-compliance, records of inspection and re-inspection — if this is to be carried out by the pool inspector — as well as any fees
  • the territorial authority’s requirement to notify us within 7 days if they disagree with the pool inspector’s inspection decision.

Non-acceptance of certificate of inspection

If a territorial authority doesn’t accept a certificate of periodic inspection from a pool inspector, they must notify us within 7 working days of their decision and reasons, using the form below.

Territorial Authority not accepting certificate form [DOCX, 60 KB]

Reasons for not accepting a certificate may include:

  • concerns about the competency of the inspection
  • the pool inspector is not registered
  • the pool inspector has made recommendations or decisions beyond their authority in relation to the inspection
  • evidence of a conflict of interest in relation to the inspection.

See Pool inspector responsibilities for more information about what's considered a conflict of interest.

If the territorial authority believes the pool inspector is not registered:

  • they must advise us immediately, and not accept any further certificates of inspection
  • we will expedite consideration of complaints or notices about unregistered pool inspectors and confirm (or otherwise) the registration status of the pool inspector.

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An investigation arising from a notice not accepting a certificate may lead to a pool inspector being disciplined.

Making a complaint

If a territorial authority wishes to complain about a pool inspector regarding matters that are not grounds for refusing a certificate of inspection — such as conduct, or quality of record keeping — they can use the complaint form below.

Pool inspector complaint form for Territorial Authorities [DOCX, 60 KB]