WeatherWatch.co.nz has been successful in getting the NZ Government to order an investigation into weather data –— Minister Steven Joyce and the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment (MBIE) have launched “Have Your Say: Open access to weather data“. This is your chance (and ours) to finally and formally express to the New Zealand Government why MetService and NIWA charging for tax owned data and open access to weather observations and rain radar is holding back innovation, growth and a wealth of new and enhanced services and products across the country in the private and public sectors.
We thank Minister Joyce for agreeing to and launching this independent investigation and for helping shape it specifically towards the concerns WeatherWatch.co.nz has been raising for a decade now. The concerns we have passed on to the Minister, Prime Minister and Government have also come from many of you – our readers & viewers – who have shared your stories and concerns with us over the years, mostly farmers, pilots, boaties & small business owners but also some Government agencies and large NZ Corporates. A cross section of all NZers really.
Most of what we raised was the lack of open access to current weather observations and rain radar – and how both MetService and NIWA over the years have become too aggressively commercial which goes against the international community.
While we have no idea what the outcome of this investigation will be, we do hope this is the first step in a positive direction that aligns New Zealand with the International open weather data and World Meteorological Organisation standards.
However we are disappointed the review does not cover why two tax funded government agencies NIWA and Metservice are now both competing in the exact same space. The Minister has also shut down conversation about this Government forecaster “overlap” in an interview with the Dominion Post recently.
The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has commissioned a report to determine if there is a level of government held weather data which should be opened up for public access (over and above data already available) to better stimulate innovation and promote economic growth.
â€œWeather dataâ€ is defined to mean observations of the state of the atmosphere from either in-situ or remote sensing systems (e.g. ground-based weather stations, weather balloons, weather surveillance radar, satellites etc.). Within the environmental services sector, observations make up the most basic data from which value-add services, such as weather forecasts or climatological products, are derived.
MBIE has contracted PWC to provide an independent report on open access to weather data. The report will look at data availability, cost, use and potential, and how this works in relation to New Zealandâ€™s open government data principles.
We are seeking public submissions to help inform the report. In particular we want to learn about your thoughts on:
Information from submissions will be analysed and included in the report.
If you are interested in submitting your views, please use our online submission form. Note that you do not need to answer every question, and that partially completed submissions will still be included in our analysis.
DEADLINE: Submissions close 5pm, Tuesday 8 November 2016.