07th April 2017 Tonga’s first Meteorology Act (Act 1 of 2017) came into force from date of Gazetting on 4 April 2017.
According to the Director of Meteorology, Ofa Faanunu “since Tonga started collecting meteorological observation after World War II, legal mandates for the provision of meteorological services has been through various legislation such as Civil Aviation Act and the Emergency Management Act and due to rapid developments in the work of the Meteorological Service a separate Meteorology has become necessary”.
“We now have the legal instrument to guide Meteorological work in Tonga. For the Met Service itself, there are clearly legally mandated functions and powers and responsibilities defined. The new legislation will be the framework for the development of the Meteorological Service as well as the guiding document for the provision and continuity of meteorological service”, Fa’anunu said. The next step is to look at regulating some of our processes and produces to ensure quality of service to enhance our capability to protect property and enhance safety of lives and the environment, he added.
Tonga’s Meteorological Service consist of 35 staff operating from 5 centres located at Fua’amotu, Salote Pilolevu and Lupepau’u airports and out of the Seismic Stations at Niuafo’ou and Niuatoputapu and is under the administration of the Ministry of MEIDECC.