From our vintage Web Site from 2010
Have your SWIMMING POOL PRICES risen 100% in keeping with house values?

HERALD Newspaper: Dec 29, 2018 - Auckland home buyers need to get in quick - city house prices could start rising again...
Last month, the city's median price reached $867,000 - or 3.7 per cent below the record price of $900,000 set in March 2017



12 March 2019


Hi Members


"The times, they are a-changing" .. credit to Bob Dylan (US Poet/singer)


With the arrival of SPASA Alliance and the S.P.L.A.S.H. SHOW 3 - 5 May 2019, we have been approached by the Exec of SPASA to consider the advantage of us closing down our New Zealand Pool Association, to have our Membership join their SPASA Alliance (S.P.A.S.A.L.A. - more initials, as they want to include the NZ Landscaping Association's membership). An interesting proposition?


I have sent a letter out to current Membership to gain a feeling for your thoughts, and will publish the results when they come in.

If you haven't already read the letter, click the highlighted link on the above line.


All thoughts are welcomed


CEO Larry


8 March 2019



Waipuna Lodge and Convention Center,
Waipuna Road, Mt Wellingon


5:00 - 6:00 Meet 'n Greet
6:00 - 7:00 General Meeting (Limited Agenda)
7:00 - 9:30 Dine and Dance

Bring your Wife, Partner or Companion (Pets not included)
Distance Subsidies Apply - call me for details
This will be the last GM for the 2018/19 Year - AGM in Aug/Sept


Have a drink with your Pool Industry Peers
Catch up with the latest NEWS of how the Pool Industry is going NZ Wide



Larry Ogden (CEO)


The following picture is the start of a New Zealand-wide Memo to the Pool Industry fromLes Hole, CEO of Swish Automation Ltd - Manufacturer of self closing & locking pool safety devices. CLICK THE MEMO for the full article.


Swish's Les Hole has been fighting MBIE and COUNCILS over the perversion by some Council Members of the actual RULES being adopted, by inserting their OPINION rather than sticking to the FACTS!


CLICK HERE or the MEMO (Above) for the explanation provided by Les on how we are being railroaded into adopting foreign legislation to "save time" for our own KIWI rule-makers


CLICK HERE for the update (8.3.2019)


As a MEMBER of the swimming pool industry of New Zealand (not Australia) you are advised to read Les' memo and think about your future if "They" can shut us down because we are a "nuisance" because we actually know what we are talking about, because it's our "LIVELEHOOD"!


NOTES: Download F9 and read it (If you are a pool builder, you MUST read it)



January 2019:

Geoff Bonham Portrait

The Passing of long-time Guild Member and supporter of the Swimming Pool Industry in New Zealand, Geoffrey John (Geoff) Bonham is notified.

Geoffrey passed away on January 21st 2019, after a short illness.

Geoff was a good friend to many of us and was truly liked as a person, and admired for his voluntary dedication in representing the swimming pool industry to the Government and Territorial Authorities while maintaining his commercial interests in the field of Spa Safety Covers and Automatic Swimming Pool covers dating back to the 1970's and 1980's.

Moving on from his Leisuretime manufacturing and distribution company in recent years, Geoff was elected to Honorary Member of the NZ Pool Industry Association Inc in 2015 and remained an on-call Member of the Executive Committee whilst still participating in the pool accessory field

Geoffrey served the swimming pool Industry in 2004-2005 with his volunteer work on the NZ Standard 8500:2006 (which is still referenced in MBIE pool fencing rules) and served three years 2013-2015 on the Auckland Council Pool Fencing Committee while the most recent pool fencing act was developed and introduced as the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2017 and section F9 of the Building Code.

Geoff always maintained that NZS 8500:2006 was a sufficient upgrade of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987, and continued to advise MBIE and the Territorial Authorities to simply 'fine tune' NZS 8500 – especially after the introduction of the 2017 Act which dismayed him and many others of us in the pool Guild.

As it always is, it's a shock when one of our friends passes away. Especially for me, as I had emailed Geoff on January 15th (last week) to suggest that we catch up for lunch soon.

His response was:
"That sounds like a great idea Larry, when would it suit you - next week or the week after"

Sadly, this was not to be.
A good person, who's presence will be missed
R.I.P. Geoff



November 2018:


The Christmas break might be a good time to remember to look at doing the Diploma Course:
Click this link ...

Current Builder Members who complete the Diploma Course will Automatically become Master Pool Builders and can display the MASTER POOL BUILDER logos on their stationary, vehicles and web pages. And you an flash your Master Pool Builder card next time you are at the Council lodging a Building Application - who knows, it might get some traction there!



Take THE FIRST SMALL STEP today! Download and read the first couple of Papers
You will see how easy it will be to do the full Diploma Course








October 2018:
We've been so busy lately
that we almost forgot the biennual Photographic Competition
The changes in the web sites for the NZPIA Inc have confused things somewhat
As a result, the competition for 2016-2018 was neglected, so I have introduced the new competition for 2019-2020

PHOTO COMP tab (above) is an introduction to the latest version of the competition
Due to the delayed start, things may be a little hectic for some Builder Members as they are busy "building" - not "photographing" - however with a closing date of mid-May 2019, you should have ample time to get your photograph portfolio up tp date.

Good Luck.

Hopefully, you will have been receiving our quarterly NEWSLETTER prepared by Profesional Newsletter Editor Jenni Phan []

In early stages, it's often diffficult to find interesting things to say, and Jenni is not part of the swimming pool industry, so congrats to her for producing the framework of what could become an interesting contact medium with the NZPIA

Feedback and contributions are invited


The NZPIA has taken legal advice concerning clauses 21 and 32 Schedule 1 Building Act 2004 as amended by
the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016

That advice confirms that no building consent is required for construction of residential swimming pools that
meet the criteria of clause 23 Schedule 1 Building Act 2004.

However, we note that one Council that we have been in correspondence with concerning the issue set out a
compelling argument for managing risk if certain geotechnical issues are present at the intended site.

Accordingly, the NZPIA is of the understanding our members do not have to apply for building consent to
construct a residential swimming pool that complies with clause 23 Schedule 1 Building Act 2004; however,
they may submit such an application in circumstances where they wish to obtain guidance from Council
concerning the intended site.

In respect of pool fencing, the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 at section 18(1) amended clause 21(2) so
that fences which do not require a building consent does not include pool fences. Accordingly, our members
will continue to apply for a building consent for all intended pool fences.



5 June 2018:


Across the ditch... pool fencing in NZ

We've been through the same thing here, now the pool fencing saga is playing out in New Zealand.

New pool safety legislation came into effect in New Zealand on 1 January 2017. The Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016 repealed the Fencing Swimming Pools Act 1987 and inserted provisions relating to residential pool safety into the Building Act 2004.

According to the Ministry for Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), key changes to the code included:

  • residential swimming pool barriers must be inspected every three years;
  • safety covers will be used as barriers for spa pools and hot tubs; and,
  • territorial authorities will have better tools to enforce pool barrier requirements, including notices to fix and infringement notices.

Provisions in the building code included clause 162C (1), which deems that residential pools (filled or partly filled) must have means of restricting access — via a physical barrier — by unsupervised children under five years of age. Clause 162C (2) states that the means of restricting access must comply with the current code requirements, or those that were in force at the time of construction or installation (post 1987).


This probably seems fairly straightforward, not to mention familiar. Unfortunately — as is often the case with retrospective legislation — the implementation hasn't exactly been smooth sailing. There's been conjecture over 'short cuts' and 'loopholes', a couple of backflips and a whole lot of complaining as industry, government and water safety groups try to reach some sort of consensus.

While the new Act requires territorial authorities to inspect pool fences, it also allows regions to waive or modify building code requirements. The intent here is for authorities to exercise judgement when dealing with 'unusual compliance conditions'.

What is a suitable physical barrier?

In February this year, local NZ news website reported that in the 12 months since the new Act came into effect, MBIE had received 25 waiver applications that nominated automatic covers as a suitable physical barrier to swimming pool access. Had 23 of the 25 waiver applications not originated in one council district, the trend may not have been immediately apparent.

The bulk of the applications came from Marlborough District Council, which said it had sought clarification from MBIE on the use of electric safety covers versus fences. The council said ithad received no signal to suggest this was an unsuitable solution, so continued to submit waiver applications in the same vein. The crux of the issue here is the subjective nature of the process — what inspectors in one district determine to be a reasonable modification won't necessarily be seen that way by others. One man's 'unusual compliance conditions' are not the same as another's, if you like.


At this point, Water Safety NZ (WSNZ) stepped in and suggested the only acceptable form of barrier was fencing and that the inclusion of pool covers as an alternative threatened to introduce uncertainty because the practice is open to human failure. As five children under the age of five had died in preventable deaths since the legislation came into effect, WSNZ said that allowing pool covers as an alternative to fencing was effectively a 'short cut' that introduced unacceptable risk and should be banned.

Covers banned

By late March, the use of automatic pool covers without fencing was banned nationwide, with MBIE ruling the practice as non-compliant with the building code. MBIE said that a compliant pool fence with automatically closing gates or door alarms presented less risk than the use of an automated pool cover. This is because the pool cover could be left open — even if only temporarily — when a supervising adult was not present. Given that the overriding intent of building code changes was to prevent injury or death to young children in residential pools, MBIE deemed the increased risk associated with (fenceless) pool cover use as incompatible with that overall objective.

Predictably, not everyone was happy with the outcome. In Marlborough, 200 affected pool owners will have to apply for building consent to install a compliant barrier. For those with expired exemptions, that is an immediate requirement and, for those with as-yet-unexpired waivers, a compliant installation must be in by the expiry date (which can be between five and 10 years). 

For those with an immediate issue, the council suggested a range of remedies including putting up a temporary barrier and draining pools to 400 millimetres or less. The latter of these presents an additional problem, as it potentially creates a drop of more than one metre. Not only is this also unallowable under the building code, it represents an even greater safety risk, according to industry members. Temporary measures aside, home owners with expired waivers have only 90 days to comply.

Industry members suggest that planned pool installation projects have been cancelled in the wake of the ruling and that home owners fear their property value will go down because of the fencing requirement. The NZ Pool Industry Association (NZPIA) thinks the MBIE has gotten it wrong and that the determination* should have been challenged by Marlborough District Council.

*(This is not strictly correct, as a Poll of Association Members indicated 28 of 33 returns agreed with the MBIE decision.
The Auto Pool Cover providers and Alternatived Solution Members disagreed that MBIE had removed the right of the
Territrial Authorities to allow these covers as an "Acceptable Alternative" to a ring-fenced pool, and are currently
seeking legal advice on how to protest the MBIE Determination. The NZPIA Inc has yet to be approached whether we
agree with their protest. )

The devil is in the detail

According to NZPIA, the devil is in the detail... because the Building Act does not explicitly rule out the use of covers as a barrier, it believes they should be allowed. Some industry members feel that the 'human failure' argument isn't justified, as an adult is equally capable of leaving a pool gate open as they are of not covering a pool. Faulty and inoperable gates also represent a notable risk, so can't be deemed 100% failsafe. In justifying the issuing of waivers, Marlborough District Council said that no children have drowned at locations where automated pools covers are installed since the practice commenced.

There are calls to make determinations on a case-by-case basis, given that every pool installation is different.

When discretion fails

Compounding an already complex and contentious issue is the recent discovery by Whangarei District Council (WDC) that many previously approved fencing installations are actually non-compliant.

This came to light when a home owner sought certification on a property being sold. The inspection found the pool fence didn't meet with code, despite having previously been approved. This prompted the council to conduct a random audit, which saw 10 of the 11 inspected properties failing. Council said it was likely the fault of inspection officers 'using more discretion than was likely appropriate', again highlighting limitations with an essentially subjective process.

There are over 1200 privately owned pools in the district, many of which will undoubtedly be recognised as non-compliant.

WDC plans a complete review of its database and reassessment of fencing installations — starting with pools seen as 'higher risk'. It also reminded pool owners of their own obligations and encouraged self-inspection with a focus on vegetation growth and changes to buildings, ground level or surrounding gardens.

Size matters

So, pools must be fenced. End. Of. Story. Or is it? Clause 162C (3) of the Building Act says, "In the case of a small heated pool, the means of restricting access referred to in subsection (1) need only restrict access to the pool when the pool is not in use."

This means that spa pools, provided they are 760 mm above the ground and have a surface area of less than five square metres, don't need a fence, but are required to have a lockable cover in place when they are not in use. Any pool that extends beyond five square metres and is deeper than 400 mm is automatically recognised as a pool, regardless of whether it is 760 mm above the ground. This means the fencing rule applies.

Early days

The legislation may have come into effect in January 2017, but most of the issues outlined in this article have come to light within the last three months, which serves to remind what a complicated undertaking this is... and we've only looked at the nuts and bolts of implementation.

As an initiative designed to save lives, the focus often moves to seemingly secondary issues — like aesthetics and property values. We're a little further down the track in Australia, pretty much at the point where seeing an unfenced pool is akin to watching someone light up a cigarette in the office or a restaurant — once commonplace, but now unthinkable. Hopefully the dust will settle in NZ and consensus be achieved. If it only saves one child's life, it has to be worth the trouble.

Image credit: © Ducouret


Chief Executive Officer's Report GENERAL MEETING 16th May 2018

This is the last Report for the 2018 Financial Year which terminates on 30 June
It's been a busy year for most Pool Builders so far, and this means a busy year for the Trade Supplier Members and other swimming pool industry associated trades and pool shops

I would like to express our appreciation to the current fourteen Trade Supplier Members, and remind our Builder Members to support them by using their services and buying their products where possible, just as they support our Trade Organisation with their contributions to our fees.

The Highlight of the 2018 year – the 2017 AGM 25th Anniversary - was a tremendous success, to the credit of organiser Vikki Templeman - who's planning and execution of a fantastic night out was flawless.

Other items of note this year include the Adoption of our new name The NZ Pool Industry Association Inc and the amendments to the Constitution needed to accomplish this. Our resurrected Online Newsletter would have been received by all Members: Comments are welcomed.

The repeal of The Fencing of Swimming Pools Act 1987 to be replaced by the Building (Pools) Amendment Act 2016, was in force from January 1st 2018 and was meant to reduce the number of Council staff "Interpretations" causing Builders real problems in getting Building Permits.

Our Association contributed to these changes through the attendance by Geoff Bonham, Neil Runciman, and myself to Auckland Council's Fencing Committee 2013 - 2016

The Schedule to the Act was supplemented by Clause F9 – Means of Restricting Access to Residential Pools, which allows for acceptable alternatives to be considered. Acceptance of Automatic Pool Covers by some Councils as an alternative to a "Barrier" as specified in the new Act got into the Mainstream Press: Not a great Idea, as it prompted that Local Marlborough Authority to request a Determination from MBIE – which ruled against them.

This prompted out recent On Line-Poll, in which resulted in 33 responses to the question


The question asked of Members was narrowly focussed, and obviously the responses reflected this:
28 No --- 5 Yes

 -  But the way questions are asked often foretell the obvious answer, as in the final analysis, and under certain conditions, an Automatic Pool Cover is probably the most effective barrier against Under 5's accessing a swimming pool. If it is in the closed position.

MBIE was more concerned with the Human Nature aspect – like forgetting to close the cover, kids closing it while other kids were in the pool – for a joke - that could cause tragedy, and power strikes that render the mechanism useless and stuck in the "open" state for just a few reasons given.
Our Guest Speakers this evening Les Hole & Geoff Bonham will discuss these issues, in seeking support of the idea that our Association should officially dispute the MBIE determination on behalf of the Swimming Pool Industry. Due to time constraints this evening, this will be a limited audience participation event.

Thank you.
CEO Report GM May 2018
Laurence E (Larry) Ogden Dip Pool Tech (Hon) NZPIA Certified Builder #108/2021
Chief Executive Officer
General Meeting 16th May 2018 at Waipuna Conference Centre, Auckland


4:00 – 5:00 Executive Committee Meeting
5:00 – 6:15 Meet n Greet at Wellington's Bar
6:30 – 7:00 Conference Room

CEO Larry Ogden: Welcome to Members and Guests

ADVANCE Apologies: (More will be in the Minutes which will be posted later)

Adrian Hill         
Justin Miharere                               

Executive Committee Reports:

Finance                              Darryl Blennerhassett
Membership                     Kerry Richmond
Ethics/Disputes               Lawrie Tanner (Emailed comments from Justin Miharere)

Executive Member resignations:
Carlos Morgan: The Pool Industry Assn gave CJ a parting gift in appreciation of the many years of time & efforts give freely to the Association. An Engraved Gold ball-point pen was presented to Carlos in appreciation. His attendance as Disputes Chair will be missed.

Justin Miharere: Justin found the time requirements of running his pool company made it difficult for him to perform his Executive duties for the Association, so regretfully tendered his resignation

Vacant Positions on Executive:

Disputes Investigation & Resolution
General Executive duties, dealing with Council and MBIE as required

If you are, or know a Member who may be, interested - email

1. There's a 2:1 Constitutional requirement ratio of Builder Member to Non-Builder Member

2. Easy access to Auckland for the four or five annual meetings would be preferable.

CEO State of the Nation (Separate page)

7:00 – 7:30
Guest Speakers Les Hole & Geoff Bonham: Contentious ruling by MBIE re inadmissibility of acceptance of Alternative Option for a pool barrier by an Automatic Pool Cover 7:00 – 7:30

7:30 – 9:30 Dine & Dance at Wellington's Restaurant & Bar



MBIE Decision 2018 Auto Pool Covers

MBIE Decides whether Auto Pool Covers provide a compliant pool 'Barrier'
Click the above graphic to download PDF file of Determination

Mike Freeth PoolBuilder Nelson SI

Mike Freeth Pool Builder Nelson SI brought this to the attention of the Media
Click picture above for more and Stuff's article on it.

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