With roots going back to 1861, MetService is New Zealand's longest-standing scientific organisation - and today one of its most commercially innovative.
Observation and study of New Zealand's weather started as early as the 1840s, and its weather forecasting service began in 1861 when a spate of shipwrecks prompted the New Zealand government to start a storm warning service as part of the then Marine Department.
Forecasting remained a marine service until 1926, when it became part of the newly-formed Department of Scientific and Industrial Research. At the outbreak of World War Two in 1939, forecasting became part of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. The focus on aviation continued with a move in 1964 to the then Department of Civil Aviation, which in 1968 became part of a new "super ministry", the Ministry of Transport.
During the 1980s there was increasing pressure on government funding for meteorology in New Zealand, together with a government-wide move to "user-pays" for specialised services, and to more autonomy and accountability for government departments. A combination of commercial competition in the deregulated market for meteorological services, and reform of publicly funded science, led to the establishment of Meteorological Service of New Zealand Ltd (MetService) as a State-Owned Enterprise in July 1992.
In 1995 MetService was the first National Meteorological Service in the world to achieve ISO 9001 certification. In its 20+ years of commercial operation, MetService and its international brand MetraWeather have become global leaders in providing innovative weather information services and 'powerful weather intelligence' to businesses around the world.