news AND views

Update SEPT 22 2021


The 2021-2022 Photographic Competition is under wAY




DIPLOMAClick thE link - or the DIPLOMA TAB above:






Invoicing will start as soon as the COVID-19 Lockdown allows us to get back to work on them

New Fee Structure: Click this link: http://poolguild.org.nz/FeesR1.html

Fees are not being increased, just rounded off and a reduced number of fee categories to simplify choosing your fee.

As we have been funding our ADVERTISING PLANS, we would be missing out on recovering the GST paid,
so we are joining te GST Govt Funding schele. Remember - it's refundable for you as it is a legitimate Business Cost.

So (as much as it is a nuisance), it saves us money in the long run



Mr Jonty Mills: General Manager - Pool And Spa Association New Zealand (PASA NZ)

Jonty has asked for another meeting to discuss the joining or sharing of the Goals and Ideals of both the NZPIA Inc and PASA Ltd


Our 2019 Poll of Members indicated that 97% voted against joining up (i.e. were not interested in joining PASA)

My gut feeling is that - 18 months or so later, the result remains the same.


But on the other hand, perhaps there are some areas that could be relinquished to PASA, even though I feel strongly that our own popular Member Program is not the same as PASA's offering - or at least not doing things in the same way that we have for the past 29 years as the Pool Guild.


Some examples:


* Our DIPLOMA 2021 Course has relevance and importance to new Member participants. Members who need - or would like, as some of our older Members would - some "official" Paperwork or a "Certificate" in basic knowledge and pool care. And the Papers are a handy Reference document.

* Our Diploma has been recently adopted by Auckland Council as a desired document for providing information relevant to the construction and maintenance of residential swimming pools!


* Our Disputes Committee continues to get applicants - often able to be dealt with on the telephone by essential volunteer Executive members and Assistants, with a few getting as far as us providing an unbiased Report which can be used in a Small Claims Court trial.


* Incoming "Covid Suspects" presently on NZ Government hold due to Covid-19 MIQ (Managed Isolation & Quarantine) using up the available (or suitable) accommodation that our three Annual General Meetings (including one doubling as an A.G.M.) have been enjoyed by those who attend. Hence no 2020 or 2021 Meetings.


* Did you realise that our country Members are financed for an annual $250 refund towards travel and accommodation costs to attend, so have no reason not to come (A weekend in Auckland - how good is that? - no email responses, please)


* And our own home-grown Photographic Competition (Yes, it's behind schedule, due to Covid-19 and other delays)
This competition is traditionally a popular feature for our Pool Builders and Fibreglass Installer Members. A Great Advertisment for their product!

I will make the time to revive this very soon - Hopefully the event will be on track for a Competition this coming 2021 - 2022 financial year.


So - given the items listed above, there is not much more that we are missing out on - or that we would do anyway: "as and if" required.

Being Aussie-based, they may have more clout in interfacing with MBIE and Auckland Council.

Auckland Council seems to be the leading choice for all the other NZ Territorial Authorities.

Right down to mimicing Auckland fees for Building Approvals ( $2,480 for Pool Approvals in Tauranga and Ekitahuna? Really??)
- Correction from local Members welcomed)

But traditionally they 9TA nad MBIE) are a difficult lot to budge, once they have made their minds up on issues.


For example - "No pools can be built to the boundary" as they were until recently.

There must be a minimum of 1.0m space between pool and the 1.8m boundrary fence or other acceptable alternative.
And the INSIDE of the 1.8m fence or alternative must be smoothe clad as well as the exterior side (where it exists)?


The logic behind this is "A child might climb the outside fence, and use the inside horizontal stringers to shimmy down to the pool. And drown".

So instead, following this logic, the child wouldl fall 1.8 meters down onto the soft surface with the possibility of a broken arm or leg - or worse!

This is consdered acceptable because - as I was informed anectotally: "Yes but it prevents a Drowning Statistic - and anyway, we have A.C.C for that!"

Accident Compensation Corporation.

I see.




Moving on ... or "back" if you prefer ...


Regarding PASA NZ

You might ask me "What about you fully backing such a move ten years ago?"

It's true.
Historically, I was very keen to join with the various Australian States swimming pool industry associations

I even toyed with several graphic variations on the "Joined" Logo,


Look below left - resulting from my talks with SPASA Queensland in 1998 - 2006 ... we added this to our Guild headers -




And then in 2012, I was all keen again to have NZ as an "outpost" of SPASA Australia ...

My 'Local Logo' proposals at the time the two on the right ... and the current proposition second from left


But that fell over in a big way: The Queensland Association Chairman resigned, I was told, and I had no other personal contact with Austalia after he left


But I registered the SPASA company name here in 2012 (That's why they are called "PASA" as I have the inside track on the SPASA name) in anticipation of JOINING NZ INTO THE AUSTRALIAN GROUP of Associations at some future date. .


This DID NOT HAPPEN - mainly because - I imagine - the various Austalian Associations have never "acted as one", never wanted to be "as one" or do not have any future ambition to be "as one" in Australia - and certainly have NO INTENTION of forming or belonging to another AUSTRALASIAN SPASA and becoming the "new" C.A.S.P.A.


Yes, this did happen decades ago - in fact I was the New Zealand Delegate for C.A.S.P.A. in the 1976 - 1984 period

The "Council of Australian Swimming pool Associations"
- changed to "Australasian" after they accepted New Zealand into the fold in 1976.


The CASPA organisation lasted for a few years, but (wouldn't you know it) the Aussie States started squabbling about things - well everything, actually - and it all crashed in the early 1980's.


So - there we have it:




SPASA (Australia) is NOT an Australian-wide organisation, and is not likely to ever be one.


Lindsay McGrath - bravely - has taken it upon himself to attempt to stich the Aussie States together in order to have communal cohesion between their thoughts and processes, but has not been able to do so (so far - but watch this space).


Lindsay is very ambitious and very likely to succeed in his life ambitions.

His organisation is expanding and buying into existing operations like the SPLASH magazine.

SPASA AUSTRALIA currently enfolds SA, Qld, NSW and ACT

There is no doubt he is "going places".


The main question in my mind is: Who will benefit the most from what he is proposing for New Zealand? Will there be a genuine Benefit to our new Zealand Members?


Lindsay's approach to bring New Zealand's membership into the SPASA fold was a logical move - but as we already have the historic N.Z.P.I.A. functioning well here, his initial pleasant but a little repeditive foray to potential Kiwiland recruits perhaps did not turn out as he had hoped. Or was it "we just weren't interested"?


A number of our Members think so - and have joined PASA for various reasons.

I would appreciate their comments on why the joined, and what advantages dod they recieve from doing so?


Neverthless, Lindsay's newly introduced to New Zealand "Pool and Spa Association Limited" (PASA) compares so closely in our name and initials to our SPASA and "Swimming Pool and Spa Association (NZ) Limited" (SPASA NZ) it is was obviously to capture our attention (which it has) - notwithstanding the vague risk that one day we "might" choose to use it ourselves (however small that risk is?)


Perhaps his motives mainly involve the financial success of his co-products - like their Photo Competition, and Trade Certificate Courses they offer, which could be useful here - even if a little (OK - a Lot) Australian focussed, infers that the actual name is not a worry to him? PASA, SPASA - POTAYTO, POTAAATO?


Apart from that - what other incentive is being offered to us that we already have - and at less cost?
Possibly there may be some way the involvement of PASA could work out for us, but it's down to YOU - our NZ Pool Association Members - to guide the Executive in this matter.


Please email me with any comments or suggestions?






But far less than the rest of the world- and I hope and pray that we remain so isolated from Pandemania




Cheers ....


Larry Ogden CEO NZPIA Inc

4.30pm Saturday 8th May 2021



SPASA NZ welcomes new staff member | COVID update (mailchi.mp)


Quote from PASA Australia:

"SPASA’s position remains dedicated to promoting and growing the NZ pool and spa industry. The investment in a professional like Jonty will allow us to exponentially improve our support for the members".

"It is our desire is for a positive merger with the NZPIA to improve the benefits and value to the members and would like to revisit the discussion".


"Jonty will reach out directly to find a time to meet all of you".   


Lindsay McGrath

+61 1300 021 482 ô +61 (0)467 727 228




HISTORY: The N.Z.P.I.A. is descended from the original 1976 NZ SWIMMING POOL AND SPA ASSOCIATION (SPASA) and its fellow organisation the Australian industry association the Council of Australasian Associations (CASPA) - superceded in 1992 as the NZ MASTER POOL BUILDERS Incorporated (NZMPB), and in 2008 re-named the NZ POOL INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION Inc. (NZPIA) as the Membership categories expanded. We are an Associate Member of the NZ Master Builders Association (masterbuilder.org.nz/) and retain the term MASTER POOL BUILDER for our Certified Builders.

We exist in the 21st Century to represent our Memberhip. Pool Builders, Pool Installers, Spa Pool retailers, Pool Shops, Pool Servicemen and Pool Trade Suppliers and those engaged in - or hoping to join - the swimming pool Industry of New Zealand. We offer Technical Information and support, Basic Training in pool building and servicing, our own NZPIA DIPLOMA Course (The only Pool Industry Basic Course available at present), Customer Support, Recognition from Territorial Authorites (Local Councils) and Government MBIE (Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment). If you are employed - or considering employment in - the NZ swimming pool industry, you definitely need to belong!

For those existing members - or those intending to become a member - of the great New Zealand swimming pool industry, it's definitely in your interests to seriously consider joining the only New Zealand non-profit Pool Industry Association. An association of experience, talented and established pool industry people that exists simply to benefit, assist, and guide YOU and YOUR BUSINESS. Subsidised Travel for country Members and partners to Mix and Mingle with your own industry peer group (often your compeditors) at enjoyable social events held several times a year - and with your own DISPUTES Committee to help solve problems that may occasionally crop up in dealings with your customers.


It's a no-brainer! Click the link now!






SHIPS WHEEL GRAPHICThe trouble with getting older, is you get to hear of old friends passing ...
GRAEME DOUGHTY Feb 16 1938 - 27 Dec 2020
Graeme's Obituary posted in the Herald newspaper: ==> GraemeDoughty2021 RIP Graeme



A Swimming Pool provides the ideal "family time at home" venue and a return to "Home Entertaining" WITH friends, so let US PROVIDE THE IDEAL SETTING FOR THEM!
A Swimming Pool - The perfect addition to a family home!



CAN YOU CLAIM POINTS FOR YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE? (As an example of how the GVT works: New Immigrants to NZ that have no Kiwi qualifications)


"You may be able to claim points for your skilled work experience, providing you were suitably qualified and the job is a substantial match to an ANZSCO occupation.

"Since the mid-2017 policy changes, your work experience must be relevant to your qualifications for you to be able to claim points. This means that you must be suitably qualified prior to the work experience for which points are claimed for residence under the Skilled migrant category.


If you do not hold a relevant recognised qualification, then you may be assessed as qualified through relevant prior work experience, which can then be used as a substitute for a relevant qualification.


This indicated that the GVT does accept non-Kiwi qualifications to allow NZQA acceptance.


Remember that the older Builder Members amongst us have not been required to prove any qualification, yet build swimming pools.

It's the new bunch of up-and-coming pool builders who will find our scheme very handy for changes in the LBP requirements






Lawrie Tanner   Disputes Executive RESIGNED




Held on 7th September 2019 at Waipuna Conference Center, Auckland.

Laurence E (Larry) Ogden – Dip Pool Tech (Hon) Certified Builders License #108/2021
CEO and Honorary Life Member

Executive Members:
Kerry Richmond   Membership Executive
Lawrie Tanner   Disputes Executive
Paul Fuller   Bay of Plenty Executive (Apologies for non-attendance)

Welcome to Association Members and Guest Speaker Lindsay McGrath (SPASA Australia)

  1. Once again, the year has flown by quickly – as they all seem to do.

    We are now approaching our 28th year as the only representative for the New Zealand swimming pool industry!

    We were contacted again by SPASA Australia CEO Lindsay McGrath who is seeking to expand the benefits of membership to include the New Zealand pool industry,

    Lindsay requested time to speak at this AGM to clarify the advantages by establishing the Pool And Spa Association New Zealand to continue and effectively expand on the work our NZPIA Inc has accomplished over the past 27 years.

Along with the rest of the country, the swimming pool industry suffers regular financial ups and downs.

When the American economy falters, as it is doing currently, it has a world effect.
Having just spent some time there recently, I am certain that these hiccups are to a large degree caused by their Media: TV News programs constantly talking of "Impending Recession" becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – which may or may not impact on our industry.

Here in New Zealand, the pool industry has been booming for the past few years, but things have got a little quiet as the US financial situation develops and our own home-grown situation (and I am not blaming Jacinda completely) has slowed due to the old "Elephant in the room" – 'Uncertainty".

Nevertheless, we have had them before and we will have them again, but somehow, people still seem to want a home swimming pool in summer!

  1. The Executive: Unfortunately we have lost a few Executive Members this year:

Honorary Life Member (2014) and Executive Assistant, Geoff Bonham passed away in January – a great loss to both the swimming pool Industry and our Association, as Geoff was very active promoting our Association, and in on-going negotiations with Territorial Authorities and the Government over pool safety and fencing issues

Finance Executive Darryl Blennerhassett resigned to spend more free time with family. Darryl was unable to make it here here tonight so I will pass on the meetings appreciation of his services to the Association    

Honorary Life Member and Executive, Carlos Morgan sold his business 'Morgan Pools (C&S) Limited' and semi-retired, remaining as a consultant to the incoming buyers for a period of time.

Executive Member, Justin Miharere resigned, to join his brother Peter in running the newly established company Morgan Pools Limited which has assumed the core business of Carlos & Sandra Morgan

  1. New Executive Members:

John Honore' - Executive President (2002 – 2005) Life Member (2015) has graciously accepted my invitation to re-join the Executive.

I have also invited Ms. Rainbow Morris to join us, which will bring the Association Executive back up to six, leaving space for one more as required. 

  1. The Constitution: At the present time, the Constitution is under annual review, and if you want to make suggestions or comments, the most current version is available to Members on the Guild web page


Please take time to read the updated document, and make comments or possible additions directly to us at  executive@poolguild.org.nz If no comments are received by end of day Monday 16 September, I will send it into the Companies Office (Societies and Trusts) .

As required by the New Zealand Government, all of this was done in accordance with our Constitutional obligations as specified in the Incorporated Societies Act 1908.

  1. Awareness of the Association:

The Executive and I have been in discussions with Publicity and Promotions people searching for ways to make us more visible to (a) the General Public and (b) the non-Member swimming pool industry in general, (who want to know "What's in it for me" before they consider joining).

The current proposals being followed-up are:

  • Updates to our Association Web Site to broaden the target market by targeted SEO
  • Encourage ALL Builder Member's Diploma Awards and thus earning the BUILDER'S GOLD CARD, then pushing GOLD CARD membership and the "Go To" pool builder.
  • Increase awareness of us by advertising in Social Media, Face Book, Instagram, and Twitter,
  • Running Radio adverts on selected Stations to publicise our existence and promote the benefits of buying a swimming pool from a Certified Pool Industry GOLD CARD Member.


These are designed to increase awareness to potential clients of the benefits of dealing with the Pool Association and its Builder Members – and encouraging more builders of to join when they see these advantages.

It is quite important that the Builder Members progress to the GOLD CARD level as soon as possible, and introduce our Builder's Licensing Scheme, We will be doing whatever it takes to help Builder Members achieve this level, as it is part of the fundamental plan for our future for the Association and to introduce Builder's Licensing .

  1. Suggestions from the floor included:
  • Weekend DIPLOMA COURSE session(s) for Builder Members. A one (or two) day compulsory session that goes through the Diploma Course, including assessments, and every Member has the opportunity to get this out of the way for once and for all.

    All Builder Members who attain a Passing Score will automatically be assessed for general knowledge of pool construction in their chosen field, suitability of a GOLD CARD and NZPIA Inc Certified Builder's License issued to them.

  • Compulsory use by Builder Members of of the NZPIA Inc Contract Forms?  
    These have been available to Builder Members since 2011.
    Some are still using them. It probably needs updating.  

    Download an example of the Contract: http://www.poolguild.org.nz/downloads/John%20Honore.pdf
    Hopefully Johnny H won't mind me using his old company as an example.
    Have a read and see if it is still relevant?

  • The POOL BONDING SCHEME was discussed.
    This scheme was in use in the 1980's and was very successful for a number of years.
    There are thoughts that it could be resurrected.

Basically. The Pool Builder and Pool Clients both paid a 1.5% fee, so using the same figures a $40,000 pool fee would generate $600 from each individual, or $1,200 in revenue for the Association.

If our 30 Builder Members averaged 10 pools each, this would generate $36,000 in revenues.

I don't have much more information on the scheme (although I was the main author and introduced it in the mid 1980's after studying similar scheme's in Australia)

I will do more research.

The benefit to clients was mainly assurance that their pool would be completely finished if anything happened to the Builder – which did, quite often in those days.
There were many 'cowboys' roaming around. Comments would be appreciated.

8. As we lose Exec members due to retirement or the sheer exhaustion of attending numerous Exec Meetings, we were running short of people to assist in covering all the bases.

One change is the role of Executive Finance Officer has been scrapped in favour of a professional Service doing our subscriptions fees etc. and I am investigating several alternatives, so this is a work in progress.
This will dramatically cut the requirements of a treasurer, and the resignation of Darryl prompted me to investigate our options - which will include professional Secretarial Services.

The Bank Account will forthwith be the role of the 'CEO + THREE' i.e. the CEO plus one of the tHREE other individual Executive Members who will access funds for meeting payments for the proposed professional people we will be using.

We have significant funds on Terms Deposit which WILL be handled professionally.
We have developed a Budget for the 2020 year (Rev III on the web site BUDGET.html), and you may have already noticed the slight rise in annual fees, which will help fund our future goals

WHAT'S IN IT FOR ME?    - We should develop sound reasons to answer this question! Give us some suggestions!

  • The 2020 Swimming Pool Photographic Competition

The events of the past year have caused delays in the Swimming Pool Photographic Competition.
I am happy to resurrect this for the 2020 year, and invite suggestions and comments on how it should proceed. 

Email me on executive@poolguild.org.nz with your thoughts

At this stage, I envisage a close off date of 30 March 2020 and publication of the winners prior to the 2020 AGM

  1. There were significant events and issues that we have dealt with – or are currently dealing with:

Foremost of these was the approach by Lindsay McGrath of SPASA Australia, the company managing the Swimming Pool and Spa Association version in New South Wales and other States, to renew the approach and elaborate on the initial proposition in case their message was not completely understood.

The initial approach into New Zealand by SPASA Alliance earlier this year was the introduction of Training Courses in the swimming pool industry, followed by a proposal that our Association and the NZ Landscaping groups be incorporated into a proposed NZ version of SPASA which would replace and enhance what the NZPIA Inc currently offers the local pool industry, but I understand the Landscaping idea has now been dropped by Lindsay.

The PASA Training Course for Spa Installation Maintenance PASA have been running in New Zealand so far has been successful, with nearly 100 attendees.

At a meeting with the Executive in Auckland last week, the earlier takeover proposal by Lindsay was clarified to the Executive Committee, including a request to have a 15 minute talk at the September 7th meeting, plus a further ten minutes allotted for question from the floor.

The result of that request was approved by the Executive and Lindsay was invited to be our Guest and featured Speaker.

For 20 minutes or so, Lindsay spoke comprehensively about the advantages of us abandoning our role in the New Zealand Swimming Pool Industry and our Members joining PASA.

He talked about the advantages to the New Zealand public and Pool Builders that joining with PASA would create, which seemed quite interesting and probably desirable.

Lindsay is to provide us a video of his presentation, which will be emailed to all our members so that they may consider the benefits and weigh up the disadvantages. Accordingly, no discussion was undertaken beyond the 10 minute question time at the completion of his presentation.

No Membership response was expected at this meeting, and when the video is distributed to Membership, it will be subject to a further meeting to be called at some future date – hopefully within 90 days.

Of course, the PASA proposal by Lindsay introduces a monumental 'sea-change' for us, and in everything the NZPIA Inc is doing or planning to do in the future.

If the SPASA Australia proposal is acceptable to our Members, they will be expected to pay the Builder fee of $1,250.00 annually and $650.00 for non-Builder MEMBERs) to join with "PASA NZ*"

as it is unlikely that two "Swimming Pool Associations" would function satisfactorily in such a small market as New Zealand - the obvious course left for us is to dissolve the NZPIA Inc. SO THERE SHOULD BE SOME SERIOUS DISCUSSIONS OVER THIS PROPSAL

Kind Regards to you all,
Laurence E (Larry) Ogden – Dip Pool Tech (Hon) Certified Builders License #108/2021
Chief Executive Officer
Honorary Life Member


* I registered name "Swimming Pool And Spa Association (NZ) LIMITED - SPASA NZ" in 2012 in anticipation of some future link with Australia. That didn't happen, but I still "own" the name in NZ, hence – unless I sell the name to lindsay – Pool And Spa Association "PASA" will be their name.   



Incorporation Date:
15 Jan 2019


(3885958) (NZBN: 9429030625662) Registered NZ Limited Company

Laurence E Ogden, Incorporation Date: 20 Jun 2012
Suite 2, 134a Marua Road, Mount Wellington,
Auckland, 1051, New Zealand









I am not too sure what the Government was hoping for with this new Government Department?

Formed in 2015 apparently with the goal of (supposedly) reducing the RED TAPE of legislation regarding the construction industry.
Including the Swimming Pool Construction Industry!


THEY SEEM TO BE ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL when it comes to home swimming pools!

It had long been my contention that a home swimming pool should be relegated as 'Minor Works' and 'Rubber Stamped' for Building Approvals.

Finally, in 2017 MBIE told the Auckland Council (and others) to forget the RED TAPE on pools smaller than 35 cubic meters of water and let them get on with it, ad focus on the REAL ISSUE of NOT ENOUGH HOUSING BEING BUILT!


(a) The Auckland Council charges $2,640 for home swimming pool Approval (aka Building Permit)

Under the new 2017 Rule, they can't do that any more if the pool is under 35,000 Litres
BUT the swimming pool will still require a Pool Fence that complies with the Building Code and Clause F9


(b) So - they now charge $2,240 for the required POOL FENCE Approval?

Yes a 1.2m high POOL FENCE needs a independant Building Approval!

Why? I am sure they have their reasons. Fair enough - but $2,240.00?


That makes the Building Approval for a SWIMMING POOL the difference between (a) and (b) Above?

$400 ??

That would bring it into line with many other New Zealand Territorial Authoritys charges.
Usually around $650? (Input required here)


Why does Auckland Council charge $2,000 MORE to process a pool fence around a swimming pool than anywhere else in New Zealand?

Because the can.
And no-one complains.


\Only the Town Planning requirements should be considered!


Swimming pools never (or hardly ever) cast a shadow on the next door property, should never have been classed as 'impermeable' (obviously by someone 'in authority' who never actually considered them - like the rain that falls on the pool would have fallen on the grass it replaced, so if the pool 'overflows' - So What.) and pools included in 'ground coverage' calculations i.e. "it's a building", when it should be classed as a 'recreational area' like the 6 meter circular lawn space required on properties.

Another waste of your Taxpayer and Residential Rates money:
Pool design and structural calculations are required from a Professional Structural Engineer and this Engineer must be Certified as competent on the Council's list of 'approved' people. 
Inclusion on the list may be conditional on the Professional Engineer's agreement with the Council's engineer's ideas on structural engineering.

So why do Council then go and have these Professional Engineer's designs & calcs checked by 'their own' Staff Engineers - many of whom are either new Kiwis, recent Graduates, or 'Old School' boys who were there when Noah put his Building Approval application in for the Ark.

Why do these professional people's work 'have to be checked' - and insultingly, not apparently by their peers, but newcomers?
There have been rumours circulating that a few professional engineers are somewhat miffed by this situation, but don't feel it's their place to say anything.
So the situation continues .......

Here's an opportunity for the 'People' to have their say: Click these links to read more:



Something of a milestone for the Pool Industry Association's web site:













Waipuna Lodge and Convention Center,
Waipuna Road, Mt Wellingon


5:00 - 6:00 Meet 'n Greet
6:00 - 7:00 General Meeting: SPASA Takeover (see Responses below)
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


Larry Ogden (CEO)



S.P.A.S.A. Proposal







The Guild will continue with fee-based Legal Advice available to Members and Public via a Law Firm.
Disputes Inspectors from Builder Membership will be paid an Houly Rate which will be generated by a deposit received from the Dispute Applicant before we do anything.
Disputed cases will be investigated and analysed: A fee will be required for a written report.
Assets will be analysed and benefits to Membership adopted, as per the 25th Anniversary weekend was.

Consider which of the options (below) should be retained

(a) A Trade Association, Limited Liability Company - with staffing as required and dividends to shareholders

(b) Continue as a 'Not for Profit' Incorporated Society - continuing the current staffing methods
(c) Continue the Disputes Process as a self-funded operation, paying the Members who do the inspections
(d) Continue with Annual Membership Fees to fund basic operational costs, and continue with 3 annual dinner meetings

(e) Continue, but make the Diploma Course and Builders Licensing Scheme compulsory to encourage prospects a reason to join.
(f) Continue the self-funding Biennial Photographic Competition


Other options:
(f) We could investigate the joining together of NZPIA Inc with Landscaping people to boost membership and increased influence with Councils?

(g) In the past (2012), I registered the name Swimming Pool and Spa Assocation (NZ) Limited, on the off-chance that we may have been invited to jhoin the then SPASA and which may be used if required - Or at least give us the ability to influence SPASA Alliance if necessary.




AH. After looking at the options for voting on the future of the NZPIA, with the options offered I am unable to vote.

What I would like to see is an option whereby a potential merger with SPASA is mooted, or at least a commitment to further discussing what this may look like if it took place.
I don't believe they are looking to come into our market and run roughshod over the existing industry organisation, rather work with it, and I feel the information that has been shared thus far is not a balanced view of the situation.

My experience in dealing with our Aussie counterparts in the Pool industry stretches back a few years, I have enjoyed the benefits of drawing from my (our Ed.) cousins and scaling it to the local market. Let them make the mistakes and we get to pick up all the stuff that works. I do feel that this is how a merger with the likes of SPASA could potentially work, us being able to draw from a much larger pool of information.

With the SPASA show coming up, maybe there is the opportunity on the 3rd of May for a Q and A with a SPASA representative and members to alleviate some fears around where this may or may not end up. Kind Regards, AH


Hi Larry, re order of priorities for the association, in my opinion the assoc is not broken and does incredibly valuable work but needs a bit of a re look/tweak so the board members don't get disillusioned/burnt out, so I think,

  1. that the assoc at very least maintains it's current profile
  2. A lot has gone into forming the current set up and I believe this can work but the load HAS to be spread more evenly and rotated
  3. We should maybe not worry about being a money making organisation but should at very least break even with maybe a bit of spare to come and go on. To that end some of our savings could be used to employ suitable outside professionals to help out. Maybe striking a rapport with some who could give us " a deal" through their social appreciation of what we are trying to do---the latter maybe a bit ambitious.
  4. Any education courses diplomas etc should be put on the back burner for now but not discarded. Lets revisit them when we have a solid base again
  5. Forget any arrangement with Australia at this time.
  6. The members have to understand and appreciate what is involved in driving this boat, maybe at the next meeting, as an exercise, ask for a show of hands as to who is prepared to offer their time as the exec has done for many years!!
  7. I think it is important to keep the calibre of exec members high and I think the current board does that and we should be trying to retain them but also help them to spread the load so they don't get disillusioned.
  8. The committees as set up should remain as they are integral to the workings of the assoc
  9. If we become a "social" gathering in my opinion we would be a futile piss up organisation and achieve very little whilst wasting all the effort that has gone in thus far.

I think if we can spread the load more evenly then as you have said below, it should be "business as usual" with a few tweaks here and there. For my part I am open to the idea of being co-opted as and when required and subject to availability and possibly looking at the disputes role again at some stage in the future but probably as a paid role. Hope this is of some help and more than happy to discuss further if you wish. Cheers. CJM



Re: the Spasa options. Brent and I both prefer Option 4. Consideration be given to remuneration to board members or at least one paid board member (perhaps a semi-retired builder) to do most of the work.

We would be happy to pay more to be part of the guild but would prefer the control kept in NZ rather than give control to an Australian organisation that would be looking at making a profit.  We wouldn't be keen on paying a % of our turnover or disclosing this to an outside party.

I wondered if there is any professional organisation already set up (eg. ECANZ, Master Builders etc) who already have the systems and structure in place who for some remuneration would be interested in taking over the organisation of the guild - with governance from the board?  It could help with the administration and day to day duties.  Just an idea. Thanks for everything - keep us posted and we are interested to see what the other members feel. Kind regards TMcG


Larry if we are voting on anything i oppose being taken over by SPASA  we may all need to pay more fees and employ someone to carry on the fight.
The disputes committee is invaluable for our industry. Regards DT



We consider option four to better reflect the reality of the situation today with so many of us time poor. It is usual to pay for professional services in other aspects of business and this should be no different.

This option will reward those prepared to get involved with the Guild. Going legal on the various councils subjective interpretations of the legislation is a normal state of being now in a number of other industries.

Doing so will get their attention and the legal team ably supported by the knowledge coming from the Guild would pose a stronger challenge council can not ignore.
We understand the subscriptions would increase but accept that as part of doing business.

Spreading the cost of legal across many members is beneficial for all. The wealth of knowledge, funds and time invested in the Guild to date is too valuable to hand to SPASA.
Totally opposed to that option. Sincerely, P and SB




It is important to support SPASA's entry into NZ as the return of a dedicated Trade Show such as the one to be held in May here will stimulate the industry. 

SPASA have also indicated they will work to create education pathways where NZQA recognized credits can be achieved (based on the Australian curriculum currently in place). This would help with staff retention and promote career paths in the industry which I believe would be valuable.

I am dubious as to whether SPASA would have the time nor inclination to support the NZPIA when it comes to local matters such as dealing with TA's on determinations or regulatory changes which will not be relevant to the Australian market.

The SPASA membership cost seem very high and on top of that, training fees will be extra - I think the average business owner in NZ will find these extreme.

Options 3 or 4 for continuing the Guild seem to be the most logical. Compulsory involvement and/or a rise in membership fees should be considered if this is what it takes to 'make it happen'. Consider leaving disputes resolution to the individual business owners (offer advice but not legal support as needed). Fund or support cases such as when dealing with TA's which effect the industry NZ wide instead.

Keep the Diploma and revise as necessary.
I made a point of finding the time to complete this - though it hasn't yet been updated on the website [SORRY - Editor] as I feel any opportunity to learn, develop and further knowledge is important.

As a registered IQPI, I meet with Auckland Council and MBIE representatives every three months.
I am happy to represent the NZPIA at these meetings. Recent determinations such as the SWISH findings are discussed at these meetings in an open forum and there is opportunity to have the collective wishes of the NZPIA taken into account as necessary. 

We should be able to support SPASA's entry to NZ AND drive the NZPIA in the right direction with collective determination of members who obviously see this association as having a very important place within our industry. Thank you for taking the time to consider my input. Thank you. RM - Dip Pool Tech (Hon)



Hi Larry and Executive Members.

After reading the letter I thought I would at least give me "2 cents worth".
We are not a pool builder, nor are we in Auckland however I still believe the guild has a place hence us being joined for a number of years.

My thoughts are when the guild changed the name they had a huge chance to open up the guild to all in the pool and spa industry.
We all know that we all can't survive in this game without each other however the general consensus I get from some others is why join an industry which doesn't include service techs, retail shops etc.

My instant reply is "it takes more of us out of the "Builder" aspect of the industry to join to then have a voice".

I appreciate the history of the guild and never want to take anything away from that as without those beginnings and the countless hours that have been volunteered there would be no guild to even voice this concern.

Given the estimated costs that SPASA may have for some of their trainings I see a lot of other companies who were not with a "voice" look to want to join someone who has some say in the industry. From what I can see the SPASA courses are "recognised" and assume they will be here in NZ?

As to the diploma I think most of us have become lazy and feel most of us think there is no need to sit this given the majority of us know the answers. I know this is an excuse and I'm the first to put my hand up.

I can't recall how much it was to sit the diploma however given you were thinking of revising this maybe this is a good time to get people interested in it and putting their money where there mouth is.

I know that this diploma is not "recognised" however if the majority of us do the diploma this will provide revenue for my note below.

I believe that the guild still needs to stand as it is but with a few adjustments.

I believe the current fee system is good (and I think the out of towners appreciate the remuneration that we can have to attend meetings/AGM).


I think a focus could be made on some sort of recruiting to those who are not currently members.

A large brainstorm would be required by all as to how to best approach these members with the best reasons to join.


I believe that someone who is carrying out the majority of this work needs to be paid as the size of the guild as well as the way I think everyone wants it work, requires more time than just volunteered time. I haven't had a chance to speak to Any of my Aussie mates in the industry to get their opinion of the SPASA but I'm interested to see what others are thinking.
I would love to have been at the meeting in April however can't make it. Kind Regards CT



Hi Larry. At last I am reasonably satisfied with our reply to your email to members regarding the SPASA development for NZ…

I have taken the view as a new member of NZPIA any comment I made in regard to the current organisational services offered by NZPIA to its members could be reasonably challenged… Hence, I have avoided this trap for young players…

Rather, I have taken the view, based on the statistics we have provided NZPIA to ask the question of the industry:

SPASA were talking about promotions designed to increase market size by 10% per annum…

Looking at the graph and providing and educated guess through to 2018/19 – we will be lucky to just maintain 2013/14 consent volumes…



In regard to the AGM… No doubt however, any NZPIA decision will not happen on (April 3rd) but at least a broad brush market viewpoint has been presented to the members…
Incidentally, today I have heard from a client in Blenheim, Marlborough District Council have also caught the AS1 disease… Regards LH



In my opinion; please do not accept the Australian offer.
As a Pool Retailer I do not necessarily fit "the mould" of Pool Builder however I trust you'll receive my opinion.

I visited a Training Seminar last year in Grey Lynn and the SPASA guy was present.
He was promoting (pushing the barrow) of his proposed Spa & Pool Expo here in NZ.

The general impression I gained (and there were others) was "who is this guy, in our patch, wanting to take the cream?"


I got the overall impression that Australia wanted to show a presence in NZ because we need them.

I'm like you, we don't. The number 8 wire approach has to be adopted.

We all think we are too busy.....but are we?......surely there are more of us that can assist you &/or the Executive. I'm willing.

So long as you are happy with the "from afar approach" (being Kerikeri based) and alot of my work may need to be by email or phone.

Put that to the Members. Sorry, I cant be there on 3rd April for your Meeting. I have a prior arrangement.

For a parochial approach I am happy to liaise with local Pool Builders (***)Their input can be taken on board if it is of assistance to the Group.
I'm happy to be the communicator.

Anytime I'm in Auckland I'm happy to meet with you. As an aside, Geoff Bonham regularly visited me whenever he was up North.
He was the person who encouraged me to join your Association.

In October, I will celebrate 10 years in the Industry. A novice to an extent but a Goldcard holder probably means I have a wise head on my shoulders.
For a referral ask (****) Kind regards, DK



Great to have your feedback ****,

For years it has been myself and a few dedicated committee Members to fight for the New Zealand pool industry - Many of whom saw no benefit to joining the Guild – but took the achievements for free!

There are countless occasions where our presence at the many "ring fence all pools" groups tried to dominate the freedoms of the people to own and enjoy a pool at home

Yes, we agree that certain restrictions must be in place to protect children under five, but also feel that vigilance on the part of parents must come into it as well

Statistically, there has been an INCREASE in <5 drownings in Australia since they introduced the Ring Fence rule

The answer must be in the complacency that ring-fencing unfortunately brings … "The pool is fully fenced so we don't have to supervise the children"

I agree that the Aussies are not going to be interested in our problems, or fund any actions we need to take.
They are simply here to Sell Courses, Photo Competitions and put on SPLASH shows … and have stated publically that they do not intend to pay any dividends to our Guild

Let me know next time you are in the "Giant Car Park" We can have a coffee or lunch Kind Regards Larry




Hi Laurence 

Thanks for your email in regards to these issues.  As a new ish member I haven't made it to a meeting as of yet.
With a tribe of 4 men (mi)d week is difficult to arrange kids as we would need to leave mid afternoon at best to make the meeting (Tauranga based)

I am interested as to the amount of time the guild uses dealing with councils I'm assuming around Auckland helping builders.
And also others thoughts, I have been I the industry for around 18 yrs and considered it a good idea to join the guild, I have always wanted to also look at doing the diploma but time is not currently on my side and perhaps now in light of recent developments I need to wait.
I believe the guild to be a great benefit and would happily pay more on an annual basis if required to help keep it.
I would have (thought) a lot of members would think the same?
I idea of been taken over / absorbed by SPASA isn't something that seems beneficial at all.  Regards KC



Over the years, Guild committee members have donated free time over hundreds of hours representing you, the other Members, and the rest of Kiwi pool builders.

We currently have NO REPRESENTATION with Auckland TA and only one Builder Member left who was part of the earlier Standards and Fencing committees (Thanks to Neil Runciman).
Les Hole (SWISH Automation) is currently battling Determinations he consider unreasonable over self-closing doors with MBIE     

Should be still be represented to TA's?

Recently in Auckland – and coming to a TA near you soon – a swimming pool must now be located no nearer a Boundary Fence than 1.0m.
The smooth Boundary Fence must be 1.8m high with no laterals on either side. The "no internal laterals" is to stop an "under five" child from scaling the outside of the fence and then being able to lower themselves down onto the ground on the pool side. Presumably instead of falling into the pool and drowning.

Not permitted as a boundary fence with a nearby pool.

The obvious "elephant in this room" is – so, they will fall down the 1,800mm smooth inside of the wall onto a concrete path and be killed or maimed, but at least the TA has reduced the child-drowning statistics!

In other words, we either need to build up a RECOGNISED organisation of strength and determination to counter unreasonable or questionable rule changes, or simply forget is and lie down.

The arrival of SPASA into the picture goes deeper than a first glance reveals, hence our current discussions over the changes to our Guild.
As previously mentioned, OPTION FOUR with a Membership Funded LEGAL TEAM may be the answer.  



Maybe a balance of options 3 and4 but probably better if it's discussed at the next meeting 
Thanks MW 



Hi Larry and Executive members.
As a retired pool builder member of  The NZ. Pool Industry Association,  I would vote for Option 4, including all A B and C as suggested by Larry. The time has come and that is now very apparent the Industry does need to have paid professional assistance when required.

Unfortunately, I am out of Auckland the first week of April so will not be able to attend this Important Meeting. My apologies. Regards. JH.


DC (Guest Member)

Hi Guys, I am not a member of the association but you have been sending info to me so I feel I can comment.

I have been involved in the Pool and Landscaping Industry for some 35 years so feel I have some experience to offer.
I have been a full member of the Landscape Association for 32 years and have been involved on their executive.

Both associations have a lot of similar attributes which drive the same problems. The main one being a voluntary organisation which relies on the membership to provide the executive etc. Depending on the ability of these committee members has a direct result on the outcome of the association.

Both associations have a very low public profile. This is also reflected thru sporting associations NZ wide.

I believe the Landscape Association is heading in the right direction where we have paid staff in the form of an Executive Officer and Secretary. We know have a Board and the day to day running has been put onto paid staff.
We are still at a point where this could all be all in vain.
The main issue is membership numbers and the ability to generate new members who feel a need to be part of a national association.

Membership numbers have a direct correlation to the benefits business may see in becoming sponsors etc of the association. 

We have had very loyal sponsors who have seen the benefit of a national body.

The big target for both Associations is for the Government to bring the two trades into the Building sector and require certification. Certainly a possibility  but it would need to be driven by both sectors. Will it happen who knows. 

There are some issues which would need addressing but I feel there is a definite opportunity 
in both associations at least talking at a committee level and see what options are of common ground.It may start as a simple coming together at a level where we share a conference and awards.

The demise of the Pool Association would be a big step backwards and the amalgamation with SPASA
who would seem to be more about generating revenue rather than professional pool builders body.

I have never joined the Pool Association because it seemed to lack a professional approach looking from the outside and did not provide any reason to a potential client why they would look at using a member over a non member.. This may be a bit unkind to the members who have endeavoured to run the association as volunteers but the Landscape Association was and still is the same.

Would I pay $ 4,000 a year to be a member of SPASA? Or be part of a diploma course?
No not unless the level of public awareness of such an organisation hurt my bottom line financially.


I certainly would like to be able to put staff thru a dedicated course but that course needs to be recognised at a Government level.
Until this is done no point.

Always happy to talk as I see the same issues thru the Landscape Association and our Local sporting clubs. 
It is very easy to get caught up in past and what we have always done.


Our total social fabric has changed in the last 10 - 15 years and along with this the ability to find and receive information.
Time is a medium we are getting short on and the volunteer based association is on borrowed time.
Kind Regards DC


As I am a new member I have read all the info and end to agree to keep the Guild how it is.
I myself do intend to do the Diploma course asap and as the only real Pool association in the County and one that has taken noted individuals countless time and at there own expense. It would be a waste to hand it over.

Its all really said in feedback with the general consensus for the Guild to remain with a few tweaks - Put me in that corner matE, JB







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


==> http://www.poolguild.org.nz/diploma2010R1.htm






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 [mailto:jenni@elementalsolutions.com.au]

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:

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 stuff.co.nz 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: © stock.adobe.com/au/Dominique 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 executive@poolguild.org.nz

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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