Auckland City Council has adopted Standard NZS 8500:2006 Safety barriers and fences around swimming pools, spas and hot tubs as its policy for lockable spa pool covers so that owners have the option of not fencing off their spa pools as long as it meet all the conditions contained in NZS 8500:2006 3.10. The council have now implemented a simplified exemption and notification process.
City Development Committee chairperson and Councillor Aaron Bhatnagar says it was a common sense decision to give Aucklanders a straightforward and cost effective way to keep their spa pools safe and comply with the Fencing of Swimming Pool Act 1987.
'Until now spa pool owners had to either face the cost of building a fence around their spa pool, or apply to council for an exemption. We have decided to adopt a proposed amendment to the Building Act  and Fencing of Swimming Pools Act  that makes lockable covers an option, says Aaron.
Auckland City Council has approached the Department of Building and Housing to request that the Standard be amended to include swimming pools as well as spa pools.
There are approximately 9000 swimming pools in Auckland city and around 250 are non-compliant at any one time. Owners whose pools fail to comply can be prosecuted under the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 or the Building Act 2004, or fined in excess of $10,000.
Summarised from an Auckland City Council media release, 7 December 2009.