Build, replace or remove a school pool

Find out how to build, replace or remove a pool, and how to pay for it.

Level of complianceMain audienceOther


  • Boards
  • Property Manager
  • Principals and Tumuaki

Boards must adhere to the New Zealand Standard requirements when building a new pool. There is additional legislation and guidelines that must be followed, listed below. 

Pay for a new or replacement pool

There's no Ministry funding for building or replacing a school pool. A pool isn't a School Property Guide (SPG) entitlement.

You can use board funding, such as grants and fundraising. This funding will need to cover the pool and all associated facilities.

Pay for pool removal

Capital expenses of removing a school pool are likely to include:

  • demolishing the pool
  • re-filling the hole
  • landscaping the area.

You can pay for these costs using either 5 Year Agreement (5YA) funding, or board funding. You must include the project in your school’s 10YPP and balance it against the other priorities of your school.

New Zealand Standard requirements

When building or upgrading a pool, you must meet the requirements of NZS 4441:2008 'Swimming Pool Design'(external link) Standard.

The Standard covers:

  • the design and construction of swimming pools
  • water treatment facilities
  • contracting requirements for designing and constructing swimming pools
  • requirements for safety and good operational management.

Most architects, pool designers and builders will have access to the Standard, or you can buy it from the NZ Standards website.

Fences and signage

You must have fences and signage that meet the legal requirements and design standards set out in the following legislation, codes and Standard.

Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 — NZ Legislation website(external link)

Building Act 2004 — NZ Legislation website(external link)

Building Code (including the new Clause F9 for fencing — Building Performance website(external link)

NZS 8500:2006 'Safety barriers and fences around swimming pools, spas and hot tubs' — Standards NZ website(external link)

Fences around school swimming pools must not harm people, even trespassers. For example, fences should not have any accessories capable of causing injury to people, such as barbed wire, spikes or arrow tips and so on.

Fencing at schools

Changing rooms, toilets and showers

You must provide changing rooms for pool users that have:

  • adequate privacy for pool users to change, giving regard to the gender, cultural or religious requirements of the school community
  • adequate lighting, ventilation and drainage
  • dry places to store belongings.

When upgrading your facilities, you must also ensure there are toilets within the pool enclosure.

Showers, preferably warm, are recommended but aren't mandatory.

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