In a story in the Dominion Post this morning MetService has come out personally attacking WeatherWatch.co.nz, Philip Duncan and Auckland Civil Defence and Council for trying to free up the most basic weather data from our publicly owned weather forecaster – and have completely ignored the ground swell of support from the public for us to do this.
MetService made double record profits last year, which would be fine had they not also been blocking the most basic of weather data which is a public safety and general economic issue. MetService say they aren’t blocking data but this week Auckland Civil Defence came out and publicly backed WeatherWatch.co.nz in this widely supported effort to free up our nation’s most basic weather data.
However this morning MetService has said both Philip Duncan and the council have an agenda of self interest due to our commercial relationship – which is utterly misleading and ignores the fact MetService has a commercial contract with Civil Defence also – and that their meteorologists actually sit inside Auckland Civil Defence’s office.
MetService is also ignoring the major reason why WeatherWatch.co.nz is taking on board all this stress – because many private and public businesses and many in the general public have for a decade been asking us to do this.
“This is really dirty tactics by MetService and shows just how incredibly profit focused our state owned forecaster has become. There is a reason this doesn’t happen in Australia, Canada and the US where the public forecaster is just that – a forecaster for the public” says WeatherWatch.co.nz head weather analyst Philip Duncan.
on 29/08/2014 5:36am
If you check out http://www.rain-alarm.com/ they show a world map of freely available rain data. They also have a (free) app (Android) to alert when rain is approaching.
Why is it that NZ is about the only developed country not covered? For a country that is largely agricultural, and also depends on the tourism dollar, it’s pretty disgraceful isn’t it?
on 28/08/2014 9:50pm
Totally agree Phil.
Metservice playing this dirty and way to arrogant. I think the fact that they are government funded gives them the impression they can be the only ones viewing the data that should be freed up.
As you say, it can be unsafe to the people to not have access to this. Something definitely needs to be done, and making people aware of what is happening through media stories on WW and other news websites is definitely a step in the right direction.
on 29/08/2014 3:37am
But they do have access to free data. This hoary chestnut has been around a while, weatherwatch just want more of the data and they want it for free from a commercial enterprise.
Civil Defence and the community are in no way compromised. Timely and comprehensive bulletins are sent out for all potentially significant events as they were recently in Northland, at which time Mr Duncan played down the severity. He was conclusively proved wrong
on 28/08/2014 8:48pm
We find that weatherwatch is far more accurate than metservice 99% of the time, thats why we only rely on weatherwatch for information. Metservice should free up information to weatherwatch, but they wont because they will be continually shown up by the accuracy of weatherwatch forecasting and the INNACCURACY of metservice. Keep up the good work Phil, we appreciate what you do for us.
on 29/08/2014 3:38am
If WW are more accurate 99% of the time then why do they need Metservice data?