Building Fences (includes pools)

Council is generally reluctant to become involved in neighbourhood disputes about fences unless a fence exceeds the maximum permitted height specified for the zone. However, we have put together a 'Fences and Your Rights' brochure that contains some general rules which may assist you when addressing your rights concerning fences.

This brochure includes information about:

  • serving a fencing notice; 
  • Disputes Tribunal; 
  • other forms of resolution; 
  • Horowhenua District Plan Standards. 

Please refer to the Horowhenua District Plan to check the zoning of your property or contact Council on (06) 366 0999.

The provisions outlined in the brochure are from the Horowhenua District Plan as at June 2014. These provisions may change and, as such, should only be used as a guide.

Fences and Your Rights Brochure(PDF, 195KB)

Swimming & Spa Pool Fences

The Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 came into effect on 1 January 2017 and requires all pools with a maximum depth of water of 400mm or more to:

  • have a physical barrier that restricts access; and 
  • be inspected every three years.

The Amendment Act repealed the Fencing Swimming Pools Act 1987 and inserted new provisions relating to residential pools into the Building Act 2004.                       

Pool inspection process

Swimming pool owners can choose who undertakes the three-yearly inspection of their pool: either the Territorial Authority (Local Council), or an Independently Qualified Pool Inspector (IQPI).

An IQPI is a person accepted by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) as qualified to carry out the periodic inspections. MBIE has a list of IQPI’s available online and will add to it when more register.

Council has a legal obligation to make sure all pool barriers comply with the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016. If you’re a pool owner, we will send you a letter informing you when your pool inspection is due. You will be able to choose to hire an IPQI in your area to inspect your pool, or have Council carry out the inspection at a cost per inspection, as outlined in our Fees and Charges.

If your inspection shows that your pool isn’t compliant, you’ll have time to get it up to standard and we’ll keep in touch to make sure we can help you get there.

It’s now the law for pool owners to make sure their pool barriers comply, so owners who don’t can be issued with a “Notice to fix” under the Building Act if action isn’t taken.

You can read more about the Pool Safety Legislation on the MBIE website.

Spa pools and small heated pools

If you have a spa or small heated pool and it meets the conditions below, then the three-yearly mandatory inspections won’t apply to it and you’ll be responsible for its compliance. We’ll just need to check it once to be sure it complies.

Spa pools can use lockable lids as a barrier if:

  • the pool has walls at least 760mm high and can’t be climbed; and
  • the water surface area is 5 square meters (5 sq. m) or less; and
  • the cover restricts entry of children under 5 years of age when closed; and
  • the cover is capable of supporting a reasonably foreseeable load, and can be easily returned to the closed position; and
  • the cover has signage indicating its child safety features.

Updating your details

If you are a pool owner and have any changes to your pool ownership status, including small heated pools, you can send an email to or you can contact the Compliance Team on (06) 366 0999.