16 Sep 2003

New Zealand looking at options to help Fiji Met Service shortages

10:23 am on 16 September 2003

New Zealand's MetService says it may not be able to provide Fiji with four meteorologists to cover staff shortages.

Neil Gordon, the general manager of National Weather Services, says they need to be fully staffed themselves during the cyclone season.

And, he says there may be better options than sending people to Fiji.

"The tropical cyclone season is about to start and whether in fact sending people to Fiji from here right now is necessarily the right solution when in fact there may be better ways of trying to provide support possibly by providing some of those services from here or from Australia or from the United States in order to provide those essential services particularly tropical cyclone warnings into the Pacific."

Mr Gordon says he asked if anybody was able to go to Fiji on a placement but nobody has come forward to date.

And, he says it takes years of experience to be able to cover tropical cyclones.