27 Oct 2008

Bad weather forecast was expensive - Mayor

12:16 pm on 27 October 2008

Far North Mayor Wayne Brown says Northland missed a lot of spending by tourists over Labour Weekend because of inaccurate weather forecasting.

MetService predicted showers would fall in Northland on Friday and Saturday, but much of this rain never happened.

Mr Brown says Labour Weekend traditionally kicks off the tourism season - but not this year.

He says accommodation providers, charter boat operators, restaurants and real estate agents all report they had a poor weekend due to cancellations and fewer visitor numbers.

Mangonui Hotel owner Paddy O'Leary says many bookings were cancelled because of the predicted bad weather.

He says occupancy was only at 25%, instead of the normal 100% on Labour Weekend.

However, MetService stands by its forecast, saying a wet and windy front went across Northland on Friday night and Saturday morning.