Fence sinks cheap pool
A Kapiti woman is questioning The Warehouse’s wording on signs advertising swimming pools after she discovered the inflatable pool she bought from the chain store requires costly, permanent safety fencing.
Joleen McEvoy wants to warn other customers about buying temporary pools that might need a costly home addition to be legal.
The Warehouse places signs around where it sells its pools, stating the pools may require fencing and customers should contact their council to check on local requirements.
When Ms McEvoy rang Kapiti Coast District Council she was told there was never any question the Intex-brand pool would need a permanent fence – which she said would probably cost about $800.
But if she installed a permanent fence it would have to remain in her backyard, fencing off an empty space in winter when her family took down the pool, she said.
Ms McEvoy said The Warehouse’s signs and stickers on the pool left some doubt about whether the inflatable pools would need to be fenced off.
She said she was told by council staff that they had visited The Warehouse to raise concerns about pool sales.
Council regulatory manager Ken Smith did not confirm whether staff had visited the store, but said if properly filled, the pools would need permanent fencing.
‘‘Councils have no control over the sale of these pools. However, most of the companies that advertise do have a warning that the pool may require fencing to meet the Fencing of Swimming Pools Act and advise people to contact their local council.
‘‘It is correct that the pools need to be fenced if filled to a depth of more than 400 millimetres.’’
Mr Smith said staff would act on any pools that did not comply with the act.
‘‘But obviously, due to the temporary nature of them, a lot may go undetected. Where officers do find a pool, the advice to users is that they should be filled to less than 400mm and should be strictly temporary.’’
The Warehouse replied to Ms McEvoy’s concern in an email.
‘‘All companies that sell pools are required to place on packaging and advertising to contact council for fencing requirements,’’ it said.
‘‘As a responsible retailer we comply with all advertising on pools we sell, as we place these warnings next to pools advertised and on the products themselves that are sold in store.’’
The Warehouse stated it was the consumer’s responsibility to comply with council requirements.
Ms McEvoy said the store was covered legally but not ‘‘ethically or morally’’. She believed The Warehouse would sell fewer pools if it stated they needed a fence.
And even though it was unlikely she would get caught, Ms McEvoy still would not put up the pool she paid $150 for. ‘‘I’m too much of a goodytwo-shoes, unfortunately.’’
From left, Tishkin McKenzieMcEvoy, Hannah Goile-McEvoy, Nikita Goile-McEvoy and Billie McKenzieMcEvoy around the inflatable pool they won’t get to splash in this summer.