Most Commented on Story — The government forecaster, MetService, has again flexed its muscle towards WeatherWatch.co.nz by raising the price of our daily highs feed from zero to almost $30,000 – forcing WeatherWatch.co.nz to scrap the service altogether.
Head weather analyst Philip Duncan says the pricing is astronomical for a product that isn’t even used for forecasting. “This is the list of daily highs, taken from publicly owned weather stations across the country. We expected a small fee, but to suggest $29,400 plus GST per year as a price is simply designed to again block WeatherWatch.co.nz from providing a service to the public of New Zealand”.
“We accept the government asks MetService to make a profit but when does that become anti competitive? MetService is one of the most profitable SOE’s in the country, they don’t need to charge wild prices for very small products”
Mr Duncan says the WeatherWatch.co.nz website receives only a fraction of the traffic MetService.com does, but are treated as serious competition. “We have never seen MetService as competition, we openly say we’d like to work with them, especially around severe weather events, but they aren’t interested”.
MetService has long had a reputation for being expensive. In the past few years WeatherWatch.co.nz has been quoted anywhere from $40,000 to $200,000 to have radar images on our website – the very same ones that are free at MetService.com.
Despite being a state owned enterprise MetService receives significant tax payer funding for various services.
Mr Duncan says he will be raising this with the Commerce Commission, as he did last year with the rain radar network.
After years of public pressure by WeatherWatch.co.nz MetService finally agreed to free up the radar service in November last year, from hourly updates to 7 minute updates
“In the past I think some in the public thought WeatherWatch had an issue with MetService – now I think the public are very clearly seeing it is their bullying attitude towards us that is causing the problems”.
The price change came when WeatherWatch.co.nz asked MetService for a new FTP site to retrieve the data. “We said we expected a reasonable fee to do this and were willing to pay one – but $30,000 a year for something that is used as just an interest piece at the end of each day is simply ludicrous”.
Despite this data being free in most other countries MetService says the pricing was based on other prices in the market.
“We have a serious problem when the government forecaster jumps at the chance to charge huge amounts of money for these products but refuses to even reply to our requests of working proactively together in the interests of public safety, which we have done repeatedly over the past 6 months”.
WeatherWatch.co.nz is looking into other options for the service.
on 9/06/2014 9:18pm
The NZ Govt is one of the most socialist government’s in the world. It is an unsustainable model when you give free hand outs to those who choose not to work and supply free healthcare to everyone. NZ’s had it’s credit downgraded as a result and now the government will do everything it can to find new forms of revenue. Evertyhing in NZ is tripple the price of other countries. This is why socialism is so despised in the USA.
on 21/04/2012 9:01am
To all you buggers who voted National/or did not vote – what can you expect??
on 20/04/2012 5:50am
I’m sorry to say that WW is to the MetService what Popcorn is to a Roast meal. Ones light, interesting and entertaining, the other is the total package. You wouldn’t want to have to rely on Popcorn it alone. Cheers,
on 20/04/2012 4:43am
I’d be happy with a $29,400 charge if they could guarantee that our daily highs were at least 20 deg all year round…
on 20/04/2012 4:43am
So much for competition encouraged by the government. Typical spit the dummy attitude be met service who are not able to compete with you so resort to bullying. Who the heck do they think they are, a public owned organisation doing this sort of thing..
on 20/04/2012 2:29am
Quite frankly Metservice need to improve their act or they will be taken over by organisations such as yours in the future.
I am not sure if it is all that important to tell us what the temeratures have been anyway, we all know what they are because we are experiencing them. I don’t see it as a problem if you don’t have them.
on 20/04/2012 2:21am
WW please stop ranting about MetService and this and that. You do a fine job and yep it’s a business world.Heads up and move forward and focus what you do best.
on 20/04/2012 2:02am
WW is just so much more accurate when predicating weather! In fact, I’m on this site pretty much every day checking the days weather.
I believe Metservice have lost touch completely when it comes to predicting the weather and aren’t as forward thinking as WW and that is why I believe WW is a far superior site to use when it comes to weather prediction – hands down.