Following my last post on this topic, I received an email from someone in New Zealand. Their government has had rules like ours in force for 28 years and like all governments in that situation are now changing the rules.
One good change is to extend the validity of a certificate of conformity from 3 yrs to 5 yrs.
Other more questionable changes include that, where fence height was regulated at 1.2m, the new rules apparently require only that "protective barriers be performance-based". If a landowner protests against an inspector who rules the pool doesn't meet that requirement, it could make for an interesting challenge! At least the Australian rules are unambiguous.
An extract from the report I was sent includes Starship Children's Health director Mike Shephard expressing concern "that the changes are not based on the existing science around swimming pool fencing. There is no dispute that child drowning has dropped significantly since the 1987 act was passed. It might not have been perfectly consistent in operation but any law in this area has to give councils and inspectors some discretion. Home swimming pools exist in situations as varied as the building designs and landscaping of properties that can afford them."
Does anyone else know more about either the NZ or Australian rules?