Spa pool regulations in New Zealand (Rules, requirements and more)

Wondering what the rules and regulations are for installing a spa pool or swim spa in New Zealand? In this article we answer your questions and explain everything you need to know for a safe, stress-free installation.

When you’re installing a spa pool or swim spa, finding the right information and working out what rules apply to your space can feel a little overwhelming! We understand. That’s why we’ve explained everything you need to know in a clear and simple way.

After reading this article you should have a good understanding of the rules and requirements for installing a spa or swim spa in New Zealand.

Spa pool regulations in New Zealand - your questions answered

What information does this article cover?

This article covers rules and regulations that apply in New Zealand and covers the following topics —

  • Spa building permits and registrations in New Zealand
  • Installing a spa
  • Safety barriers for spas
  • General Frequently Asked Questions
  • Finding the right location for your spa
  • Installing a spa
  • Spa electrical requirements
  • Customising a spa and alternatives
  • Using the spa
  • Spa World™ learning centre

Please note, we recommend that you contact your local council to find out if there are any rules that apply specifically to your area.

Do I need a building permit for my new spa in NZ?

No, you do not need a building permit for your new spa. However, you will need building consent when installing a pool barrier, if a barrier or fence is required.

Does my spa or swim spa need to be registered with a council in New Zealand?

If your spa meets the following requirements, you won’t need to register your spa pool with the council.

  • The surface area of water is a maximum of 5 square metres
  • The height of the pool is at least 760mm above any adjacent floor (this includes surrounding decks), ground or the surface the spa pool is placed on
  • The pool has no steps
  • The pool has a lockable safety cover, warning sign and complies with safety standards.

I want to build a small deck around my new spa. Do I need a building permit?

No, building consent is not required for decks, platforms, bridges, boardwalks and similar structures if the height you can fall from is less than 1.5 metres.

Can I install a spa or swim spa over an easement on my property?

No spa can be constructed over any pipelines (for example storm water or sewer pipes) that are owned by the council or within a council easement used for services.

It’s also important to note that no structure foundation can be located within a line that extends 45 degrees from a 150mm point below the pipe invert to the ground surface.

What are the specifications for a spa or swim spa slab?*

Spa World™ can provide generic concrete slab designs for both swim spas and portable spas that are suitable for most soil types. For more information, please head to the learning centre on our website.

Watch: Spa World™ Learning Centre

Does my new spa need to be fenced with an approved pool safety barrier?

If the height of the spa is greater than 760mm above the ground, you will not need to install a pool safety barrier.

However, all spas need to be fitted with a compliant lockable cover.

Do I need a registered builder to carry out building works associated with my pool safety barrier?

You do not need a registered building to carry out building works associated with a pool safety barrier in New Zealand.

Can my property boundary fence be part of the required pool safety barrier?

If you plan to use a building or boundary fence to form part of the pool safety barrier, you will need to ensure that all windows and doors that lead to the pool area must comply with the New Zealand Building Code.

Does my new spa need a CPR sign?

CPR signs are not a requirement in New Zealand but SPASA - Swimming Pool and Spa Association of New Zealand, recommends that spa owners display one. A CPR sign can be purchased from any pool shop.

Does Spa World™ have electrical compliance on all its products?*

Yes, all Spa World™ products have the relevant electrical approvals where required by legislation.

Do you require a copy of these certificates? Please send an email to compliance@spaworld.co.nz

Can you put a spa on a deck?

Yes you can install a spa into a deck. We recommend you read this article from our learning centre. about the main points to ask your builder during the early stages of the planning process.

Can you manually carry or lift a spa pool into position?

We do not recommend lifting a spa pool manually because they are heavy. For advice, and handy tips, we recommend that you read our pre-delivery guide.

Do you need a crane to install a swim spa?

Yes, you will need a crane to install a swim spa. Depending on accessibility, a Hiab truck may be able to do the job, otherwise a crane will be necessary.

How do you get a spa into a backyard?

This depends entirely on access to your property and the location of the spa pool or swim spa. We recommend you head to the learning centre to learn about other options to consider.

Watch: How to film your Spa World™ access delivery video

Can I install my spa in-ground?

We do not provide in-ground shells but you can install your spa into a pit. We recommend you view the pre-delivery information on our website for further details.

Does my spa need a concrete slab?

We strongly recommend that you use engineered slabs and we can even provide you with a generic engineered design. However if you would like to put your spa on anything other than an engineered slab, you will need to arrange for an engineer to certify the foundation.

For more information visit our learning centre.

Do I need approvals for my spa pool?

Spa World™ encourages every customer checks with their local council or certifier about what approvals are required to install a spa pool or swim spa on their property.

Does my spa need to be fenced?

Fencing requirement guidelines can vary and this is based on many factors including the product and location. We advise all customers to check with local councils or certifiers before installing a spa.

Does Spa World offer an installation or compliance service?

The Spa World™ team does not install spa pools or swim spas or issue certifications for your installation. Spa World can refer you to a certifier (Surveyor) that can help you with regulations for your installation.

Spa World™ does offer delivery services, for a fee, to customers who live within a particular radius of a Spa World Showroom location. To find out if your spa can be delivered to your property, please contact your local Spa World™ showroom.

Where can I find information on delivery or installation of my spa?

The best place to go for this is the Spa World™ website. You can find all the information you need about pre-delivery & installation ideas through our learning centre.

It’s also important to note that when you make a spa purchase, you will be assigned a Spa World™ concierge who will look after you and make regular contact from the moment you make your purchase through until after delivery.

Watch: Your personal spa expert - here to help

Do I need to contact a plumber when installing a new spa pool in New Zealand?

The short answer to this is no. However, if you’re installing the spa pool or swim spa into a pit, you will need a plumber to ensure there is adequate drainage in place, to prevent the pit from flooding.

The concrete slab for my spa is not level - What can I do?

There are floor levelling products you may be able to use to provide a level surface. If you have a fall of over 20mm over any length of the spa you may be able to use chocks to provide a level surface.

For more information, we suggest you email compliance@spaworld.co.nz.

Who must carry out electrical work for my spa, swim spa or plunge pool installation?

All electrical work must be carried out by a qualified electrician.

What is the maximum distance a heat pump can be installed from the spa circulation pump?

We recommend that the distance between the heat pump and circulation pump should be no greater than 3 metres. The height distance between the two pumps should not be any greater than 1 metre.

To learn more, we recommend you read this article on how do I install my heat pump at the Spa World™ Help Centre.

Where will I find the power requirements for my spa?

You will find all power requirement information on the tech sheet for your spa or swim spa model that you can downloaded from the Spa World™ website.

Do spa pools and swim spas need to have electrical and plumbing approvals to be sold in New Zealand?

Yes, all spas need to have both certifications in place in order to be sold legally in Australia and New Zealand.

Having an approved spa is vital to your family's safety.

If you would like further information please email compliance@spaworld.co.nz.

Can I run my spa on an extension lead?

No, your spa must have a dedicated power supply provided by a licensed electrician in line with local and national regulations.

Do I need a hardcover for my spa?

Your spa needs to be covered when not in use, the cover that Spa World™ supplies is lockable and provides a high level of insulation. This has a great impact in reducing running costs of the spa. Leaving an empty spa uncovered and exposed to the sun will damage the acrylic and this is not covered under warranty.

I am allergic to chlorine or don’t like the smell of chlorine – Can I use salt in my spa pool?

Yes, we are able to offer salt systems for swim spas, however there are also other solutions such as peroxide based chemicals that may be better suited for you. Visit our learning centre for more information.

Can I choose the design or layout of jets in my spa?

No, this is not a possibility because the spas are designed and engineered to function for optimum performance and meet the relevant regulations.

Can I leave a spa pool empty?

Yes, you can leave however you must follow a shut down procedure in your manual and ensure that the hardover is in place to reduce the effects of direct sunlight or too much heat on the spa shell whilst empty. As mentioned earlier, leaving an empty spa uncovered and exposed to the sun will damage the acrylic and this is not covered under warranty.

Can I have a cold spa in summer?

Yes, the only issue you may face is if the temperature is 40c outside, the temperature of the spa water will still be high due to ambient temperature. If you truly want a cool spa in summer, you may need to purchase an optional heat pump which can both heat and cool the spa water. Heat pumps can also save up to 70% on spa heating costs compared to electric heaters.

Can I install a spa pool inside my house?

Yes it is possible to install a spa pool inside a house if the spa’s destination point is accessible. We recommend that you ensure you have a good ventilation system and drainage system in case the spa pool was to ever develop a leak.

Can I turn my spa off when not in use?

The short answer is yes, however we strongly advise against doing this. That’s because the spas are designed to filter and heat when not in use, but turning them off you will not have filtration and your water will need to be replaced or treated excessively in order to be safe.

Summary

We hope this article has helped answer your questions about the rules, regulations and what you can and can’t do with your new spa or swim spa. Is there a question we haven’t answered in this article?

Contact your nearest showroom or book a consultation to speak to a member of the Spa World™ sales team.

You can also download our Spa Pool Buyer's Guide that will provide you with everything you need to know as you make plans to buy a spa pool, swim spa or sauna.

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