Kids Will Drown If Proposed Pool Fencing Laws Change

Water Safety New Zealand will present at the Select Committee Hearing into the repeal of the Fencing of Swimming Pool’s Act this morning (Monday) and the organisation’s message will be simple: More children will drown if the changes go ahead.

Water Safety New Zealand Chair Danny Tuato’o says his organisation, along with the wider sector, is hugely concerned about the negative impact the proposed Bill would have on the pre-school drowning toll.

“Since the introduction of the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act, the number of children drowning has reduced from an average of ten deaths per year, to two. This shows the bill is working and if our young children are to be kept safe it must be retained and even strengthened.”

Danny Tuato’o says Water Safety New Zealand opposes the Building (pools) Amendment Bill – in particular the move towards performance-based standards that will replace pool fences with barriers, less inspections and the removal of the requirement to fence spas or hot tubs – and is lobbying instead for tighter requirements, especially four sided isolation fencing for any new home and pool builds where doors can open directly on to a pool area.

“Minister Coleman said during the debate at the opening of Parliament that the changes were all about child safety but our water safety experts say the opposite. If the proposed changes go ahead it will greatly reduce water safety around the home and more preschoolers will drown.”

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