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NZ–UK alliance to offer forecasting services

Media release: 16 December 2003

NZ–UK alliance to offer revolutionary suite of forecasting services worldwide

NIWA and the UK Met Office announced today that they will become partners in a new venture that will revolutionise the use of weather forecasts. This new alliance will combine the world-class weather forecasting skills of the UK Met Office with NIWA’s leading-edge environmental models and consulting services.

‘Over the last ten years, there have been huge advances in technology and in our understanding of aquatic and atmospheric environments,’ said NIWA Chief Executive Rick Pridmore. ‘We can now make sophisticated forecasts, on a regular basis, across an enormous range of environmental issues and concerns.’

‘NIWA and the UK Met Office are poised to provide weather sensitive businesses, environmental managers and emergency services with a new range of products that are better targeted to their needs and match more closely the timescales on which they make decisions’.

The new joint venture will help supermarket managers to decide how much product to put on their shelves, improve search and rescue operations, assist farmers in planning when to apply fertilisers, and better forecast a range of natural hazards such as river and coastal flooding. These services and many more will be targeted initially at Australia, Asia, the wider Pacific area, the United Kingdom, and Europe.

‘This partnership allows us to do jointly what we couldn’t do alone,’ said UK Met Office Chief Executive Peter Ewins. ‘The Met Office has global forecasting capabilities and an international reputation for excellence. Although our forecasting services help people manage the impact of the weather around the world, we have long recognised the importance of developing increasingly sophisticated services across a range of environmental areas to better meet the needs of individuals, society, and businesses by focusing on their specific requirements. The Met Office and NIWA share this same vision, and our skills and capabilities match perfectly.’

‘We are excited by this opportunity,’ said Dr Pridmore. ‘There are genuine synergies in this alliance. Both NIWA and the UK Met Office have excellent reputations and client relations and we both provide services in different parts of the world. Now we can offer these services and many more, anywhere.’

ENDS

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