Dunedin site still on MetService radar

Negotiations are dragging on as the MetService seeks to secure a site for a long-awaited Dunedin rain radar.

However, the national meteorological organisation says it now hopes to have a "detailed update" for the public by April.

The Otago Daily Times requested an update yesterday, two months after the MetService last said it was continuing to negotiate to secure its preferred site for the radar.

The site, on coastal hills to the east of Milton, had been tied up in a major international acquisition of Otago forestry blocks, prompting the MetService to announce construction of the facility would be delayed until 2020.

That was not good enough for the Dunedin City Council, which in December voted to lobby the MetService for speedier progress, amid concerns the city still had a "significant gap" in weather information.

A MetService spokesman said in January the organisation remained "committed" to the radar project, and was continuing negotiations with the new landowner to secure its preferred site. It had also identified another site, "should negotiations falter with the preferred site", the spokesman said.

Yesterday, the spokesman said those negotiations were ongoing and "progressing", but "due to the commercial nature we are unable to comment further".

A detailed update would be provided by April, if not sooner, he said.

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