Building Fences (includes pools)

Rules around fence heights depends on the Zone. 

Council prefer not to engage in neighbourhood disputes about fences. If a fence exceeds the largest permitted height specific to the zone then they may engage.

Your rights and general rules around fences are in the ‘Fences and Your Rights’ brochure. The brochure covers information on:

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

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

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

Fences and Your Rights Brochure(PDF, 195KB)

Swimming & Spa Pool Fences

The Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 came into effect on 01 January 2017. It requires all pools with a maximum depth of water of 400mm or more to:

  • have a physical barrier that restricts access; and
  • undergo inspection every three (3) years.

The Amendment Act repealed the Fencing Swimming Pools Act 1987. New provisions relating to residential pools are now part of the Building Act 2004.

Pool inspection process

Swimming pool owners can choose who undertakes the 3 yearly inspection of their pool. Either the Territorial Authority (Local Council) or an Independent Qualified Pool Inspector (IQPI) can do this.

An IQPI is a person accepted as qualified by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to carry out the 3 yearly pool inspections. A list of qualified IQPI’s is available on MBIE's website. 

Council has a legal obligation to make sure all pool barriers follow the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016. 

If you own a pool, Council will send a letter informing you of when your pool inspection is due. You can choose an IPQI to inspect your pool or arrange for Council to carry out the inspection. For the cost per inspection by Council refer to Building Fees and Charges under Related Information.

If the inspection shows that your pool is not compliant, you will have time to get it up to standard. Council will keep in touch to make sure we can help you get there.

As a pool owner, it is law to make sure your pool barriers comply. If you do not take action to comply, you will receive a “Notice to fix” under the Building Act.

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

Spa pools and small heated pools

The mandatory 3 yearly inspections will not apply if your spa or small heated pool comply (as per the list below). Council will check it once to be sure it complies, then you’ll be responsible for its ongoing compliance.

For compliance, spa pools can use lockable lids as a barrier if the:

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

Updating your details

Email any changes to your pool or small heated pool ownership status to enquiries@horowhenua.govt.nzor phone Council's Compliance Team on (06) 366 0999.