Why your paddling pool is probably breaking the law

Paddling pools are flying off the shelves as temperatures soar this summer.

But some consumers may not realise how strict the rules are when installing their paddling pool, and may be breaking the law.

According to Auckland Council any pool, including portable pools, deeper than 400mm - about the size of an infant's inflatable three-ring pool - is subject to safety provisions under the Building Act. These pools must have physical barriers (fencing) that restrict access to the pool by unsupervised children.

With New Zealand summer in full swing, paddling and portable pools are being snapped up by Kiwis looking to cool down.

"Our pools are proving incredibly popular at the moment with this hot weather," general manager of general merchandise at the Warehouse, Jenny Epke, says.

As retailers have a duty to inform pool buyers of the rules, Ms Epke says all pool products come with clear warnings about safe use and supervising children, as well as reminders to check in with local councils about meeting the fencing requirements.

"This information is clearly labelled on the outer packaging of each of the pools we sell, as well as enclosed within the instructions manuals."

If, during an inspection, a council officer finds a pool does not comply with the rules, a 'notice to fix' will be issued. Failure to comply with the notice to fix could result in prosecution and a maximum fine of $5000, and a criminal conviction.


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