Residential pools that require a barrier


Barriers are required for ‘residential pools’ that:

  • can be filled with water to a depth of 400mm or more and
  • contain water (regardless of the amount of water).

‘Residential pool’ relates to ‘pools’ associated with an ‘abode’.

‘Pool’ relates to the type of excavation or structure that is used for swimming, paddling or bathing. 

‘Abode’ relates to a place of residence, including hotels, motels and similar accommodation. Such accommodation can provide an environment similar to the home environment, in that caregivers cannot be expected to closely supervise young children at all times. 

Section 7 of the Act  on the Legislation website includes the full definitions of ‘abode’, ‘pool’ and ‘residential pool’.

Example where a residential pool barrier is not required

A residential pool barrier is not required for garden ponds and similar water hazards, which are not intended to fall within the definition of ‘pool’.

School pools

Usually, school pools are not residential pools and the barrier requirements for residential pools do not apply. However, a school pool may fall within the definition of residential pool if there is an abode, such as a hostel or caretaker residence, at the school.

This information is published by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s Chief Executive. It is a general guide only and, if used, does not relieve any person of the obligation to consider any matter to which the information relates according to the circumstances of the particular case. Expert advice may be required in specific circumstances. Where this information relates to assisting people: