Government implements more pointless bureaucracy

Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith says most pool drownings occur because gates no longer close, fences have not been maintained or changes have been made that allow access.

“Half of inspected pools have been found to be non-compliant, exposing children to risk,” he said after parliament passed his bill on Thursday.

Included in the raft of changes to the laws around pools is a requirement on retailers and manufacturers to inform purchasers of their legal child safety obligations.

Councils have been given new powers to issue infringement notices.

Spa pools no longer have to be fenced because they’re considered to be low risk.

But they must have a lockable, child-resistant cover and must be at least 760mm above ground.

The new laws come into force on January 1 next year.

So what is the actual size of the problem? ?


The most recent full annual report at Drownbase is from 2014. ?There we see that home pool drownings number about 3 a year. ? And public pool drowings are 2 a year.

Public pools are actively monitored by trained staff, and they have 2 drownings a year. ?Non-monitored home pools have 3. ?Using the public pool data as a baseline for any kind of pool drowning means that there is only one drowning a year in home pools that can specifically be attributed to being a “home” pool.

Is this really something that needs a new law? ?Does this need every council to have a “pool inspector”? ?Does this need a database, management system and administrative overheads?

I despair when governments start making more and more restrictive legislation that targets such a small part of our collective problems.

More people in New Zealand die as a result of quad bike accidents.

Another reason for Key to give Nick Smith the hard word.

When the solution is actually worse than the problem, it’s time for a reality check.


– NZN, Yahoo! News