29 Apr 2013

Concern at proposed changes to pool fencing

9:56 pm on 29 April 2013

A children's injury prevention group says proposed changes to pool fencing laws may lead to more young people drowning.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is calling for submissions for suggested changes to the pool fencing act.

Under the changes, spa pools with lockable lids would not need to be fenced in, owners would be responsible for maintenance checks rather than councils, and the rules for people getting a new pool would be simplified.

Safe Kids director Anne Weaver says lids on spa pools are not child-proof and the rules need to be tightened, rather than relaxed.

However, Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson said on Monday the changes won't compromise child safety and will make it possible for pool owners to avoid what he calls criminal compliance charges.

Mr Williamson said he hopes to take the revised proposal to the Cabinet later this year and to move on a new regime next year.

Submissions close on 10 May.