General Interest

Bits and pieces of interest

Tangaroa Refit

The RV Tangaroa, NIWA’s deep water research vessel, is currently undergoing a massive upgrade to install a DP2 Dynamic Positioning System (DPS). The refit of Tangaroa will cost an estimated $20 million, but will greatly extend the vessel’s capabilities. The installation of the DPS will allow the Tangaroa to stay in one place (within a few metres) or, if required, move unerringly along a path, improving its ability to deploy and operate precise gear such as seabed samplers, soil and rock testing equipment, seabed drill rigs, and remotely-operated vehicles. The RV Tangaroa will be the only New Zealand vessel with such advanced ‘DP2’ capability. Read more

NIWA a finalist for Open Source Awards 2010

NIWA have been chosen as a finalist for the 2010 New Zealand Open Source Awards for our Ocean Survey 20/20 Portal. 

We are nominated in the Open Source Use in Government category, which recognises outstanding use of free and open source in the public sector in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Open Source Awards recognise and promote the contributions of New Zealanders directly to free and open source projects or the promotion of free and open source philosophy, and exemplary use of free and open source by New Zealand organisations.

NIWA’s new Supercomputer


Last year, NIWA purchased IBM’s Power 575 supercomputer, the most powerful climate modelling supercomputer in the southern hemisphere. Renamed ’FitzRoy’, the new supercomputer has 100 times the power of Kupe, the old Cray T3E1200e computer, which is equivalent to about 7000 laptops working simultaneously. It weighs a massive 18 tonnes, and the floor has had to be custom-strengthened to hold its weight! 

This supercomputer is designed for "grand challenge problems" - the sort of complex scientific work that we at NIWA tackle in fields such as energy, aerospace, weather and climate modelling. It is similar to those used at major global environmental forecasting and research centres, such as the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, and the UK Met Office.

Minister Wayne Mapp and other important guests officially launch ‘Fitzroy’ on 22 July 2010.