Swimming pools and spas

Before building a swimming pool or spa, find out the key facts about a property. Use the information to find out if your swimming pool or spa project needs planning approval.

Definition

The Building Act 1975 defines a swimming pool as an excavation or structure:

  • capable of being filled with water to a depth of 300 millimetres or more
  • capable of being used for swimming, bathing, wading, paddling or other human aquatic activities
  • used, designed, manufactured or adapted for the purpose mentioned above, despite its current use.

This includes spas and wading pools (other than portable wading pools).

It does not include a:

  • fish pond
  • ornamental pond, manufactured to be used for ornamental purposes
  • dam used for aquaculture, marine research or storage of water
  • watercourse
  • spa bath situated in a bathroom which is not continually filled with water
  • birthing pool used solely for water births
  • portable wading pool.

A portable wading pool is defined as:

  • capable of being filled with water to a depth of less than 300 millimetres
  • having a volume of no more than 2000 litres
  • having no filtration or pumping system.

Development application

Prior to works being carried out, the project may require an approved development application:

To find out the zone that applies or if your site is in a neighbourhood plan or overlay area, look at the key facts about a property.

Building approval

You will need a building approval for your swimming pool and pool fence. Arrange this through a building certifier.

The construction and maintenance of swimming pools and pool fencing must comply with:

It is the responsibility of property owners to ensure the pool and barriers are compliant at all times. For more information, check the swimming pool safety regulations.

For information on ongoing maintenance requirements see the swimming pool maintenance page.

Last updated: 1 February 2022

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