There was once a time when owning a spa pool suggested one of two things. You had serious cash to splash or enjoyed 'footsie' with the neighbours.
But spa pool manufacturers say new trends in health and wellbeing have seen spa sales steadily increase over the past few years, helped by the fact that they're now more affordable and easier to maintain.
Spas don't require fencing or consent
Not many people may know this but the Government changed the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act last year, so that the average above ground spas no longer need fencing - the cover is enough of a barrier.
Portable spas don't require building consent either.
"The only requirement for a swim spa is that it sits on a flat-level surface like a concrete pad or a strong deck, whereas for a swimming pool there's a lot of ground preparation required," says Andrew Pullen, Vortex Spas CEO.
Swim spas can be better than a pool
As property sizes shrink, swim spas are growing in popularity as a cheaper and more practical alternative to the traditional in-ground pool. There's the option to swim 'lengths' by swimming against the currents created by swim jets but there's still space for the kids to play.
Mr Pullen thinks the increase in popularity is down to the price. A swim spa costs from $20,000-$40,000 as opposed to a traditional pool which costs $50,000-$100,000.
"There's been a great deal of innovation in reducing the running costs of spas too, you might be surprised by how cheap they are to run these days."
- The latest innovations and swim spas at the NZ Spa Show 7-10 & 13-17 June at Claudelands Hamilton.
The spa allows for quality talk time with the teenagers.
"It's not practical to take a device like an iPad or computer into a spa, so it's bringing families together again," says Mr Pullen.
He says customers are surveyed three months after purchasing a spa, and the most common benefit is what it does for reconnecting families.
Spa owner Sarah Derecourt agrees. "It is the ONLY time there are no devices and our kids have to look us in the eye and talk to us.
"I've found out what's going on in their lives and the lives of their friends. I call it the talking stick - truly amazing things have come to light!"
Spas can have health benefits.
Warm water creates a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, and helps create a balance in the feel-good neurotransmitter serotonin.
It's also causes the body's blood vessels to dilate, increasing blood flow and sending it to the skin and muscles. This can ease the stiffness caused by the gym, working on your feet, having poor desk posture, or just generally being tired.
It's claimed the jets in a spa also increase organ function, circulation, and stimulate the skin's touch receptors.
Unlike older spas that need lots of precise measurements of different chemicals, today's spas have an automatic sanitising system.
"You don't have to do a chemistry experiment in your backyard every week to keep it clean," says Mr Pullen.
This story was created for NZ Spa Show which takes place over two weekends in June at Claudelands Arena in Hamilton.