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Regular pool inspections under new law

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 20/10/2016

All swimming pools must be inspected and certified every three years under safety law changes that have been passed by parliament.

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith says most pool drownings occur because gates no longer close, fences have not been maintained or changes have been made that allow access.

"Half of inspected pools have been found to be non-compliant, exposing children to risk," he said after parliament passed his bill on Thursday.

Included in the raft of changes to the laws around pools is a requirement on retailers and manufacturers to inform purchasers of their legal child safety obligations.

Councils have been given new powers to issue infringement notices.

Spa pools no longer have to be fenced because they're considered to be low risk.

But they must have a lockable, child-resistant cover and must be at least 760mm above ground.

The new laws come into force on January 1 next year.

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