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NZ’s main news media provide coverage of release of overdue Govt weather data report. Here is what they said:


Brett Spicer on 13/01/2018 8:57am

I can’t make head or tail from “anonymous”?
Must be a Metservice employee ha.
Keep up the good work Phil & the team!

WW Forecast Team on 15/01/2018 9:35am

Thanks Brett! Ha, funny you should say that. That exact thing actually happened a few years ago and turned out to be a Senior Severe Weather Forecaster at MetService. We ran his comments as a headline…no name has been attached to similarly written negative comments to us ever since. Of course, not saying that’s what may have happened below……….

🙂 Cheers
Phil and our small team.

Guest on 13/01/2018 12:31am

You want the information released so you can use it for commercial services and the tax payer will foot the bill. To many times this has happened and comparing it electricity and telecoms is ridiculous as we know when they were privatised only fat cats benefited not the public. So i don’t want to benefit commercial organisations with taxpayer subsidy which is what you want.

WW Forecast Team on 13/01/2018 12:48am

Hi there “anonymous”, you don’t seem to understand the current set up – because at the moment you (taxpayers) already fund the commercial side of NIWA and MetService to make them even more commercial profits which aren’t put back into weather investments or your pocket. We want that data freed up in the same way you can drive on a highway in NZ without being stopped by NZTA and forced to pay 100K a year for it. You already tax fund TWO commercial organisations now for weather (neither NIWA or MetService are public departments, they operate as private commercial organisations – and you fund two companies to do the same thing, which is an even bigger waste of the tax dollars you seem loathed to spend). 

We’re wanting tax funded data to be OPEN (which means the data you already pay for is used by ANYone). What you wrote above is what is already happening – not what we are asking for.

It costs taxpayers nothing additional to make this data Open and yet it has massive benefits to the public and economy – as the INDEPENDENT OFFICIAL report noted in all other western nations.

What we are requesting increases competition – that could harm a small business like ours, but we believe in our brand and that we’ll be ok – but what you have written above is completely the wrong end of the stick on this.

If you perfer the Russian/China/Cuba/NZ model as better than what the rest of the first world is doing then nothing we write will convince you that change here is needed. 

Kind regards,
Philip Duncan

Guest on 13/01/2018 6:10am

The MetService FAQ seems to disagree. They say the Minister of Transport and DoC are just two of their customers which buy some data for public use. Everything else is paid for through ads or by their customers with a dividend being returned to the government. No indication of what the dividend is worth vs how much the MoT and DoC pay for their data but I don’t see any indication that the tax payer is putting any significant funding into MetService.

They’re a company whose business is collecting and selling weather data. Paying all the data collection costs then giving it away for free doesn’t sound very sustainable. Are you suggesting MetService ought to be fully publicly funded with all the data available for free rather than operate as a profit-seeking company?

As it is now it seems companies are free to compete with MetService – they’ve just got to collect the data themselves just as MetService does (or pay MetService to collect it for them). As you’ve pointed out there is already another company, NIWA, competing with MetService so it seems possible to do.

WW Forecast Team on 13/01/2018 6:56am

I suggest you share your concerns with MBIE then, although they’ve alreay looked into this. This works around the entire western world. 

As we said before, it’s clear you won’t agree with anything we say. Thanks for your anonymous comments. 

Kind regards

btw – those contracts you specifically mention pay for many of the weather stations and all of the rain radars. NIWA also has a number of publicly owned weather stations. That’s the only tax funded data that the independent review was focused on. Please send your further concerns to MBIE.

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