Being hands-off is not ideal says Mike, but the team is capable and has been able to adapt to installing new equipment.
It takes a bit longer than normal with several phone calls and follow-up emails required, but video calling also has the advantage of being able to see in real time what to do if a problem crops up.
“The technology has worked surprisingly well – as long as the phone is pointed in the right direction!”Mike does the training over the phone while a team from the Samoan government’s Water Resources Division on the ground does the actual hard work.
The water level stations will need to be checked over by NIWA once travel resumes, but for now they are operational and going well.
For his part, Mike says he can’t wait to get back to the Pacific again. “When you’re on the ground there the benefits are exponential compared to a video call. You can get so much more done and there are so many opportunities to teach people new skills.
NIWA’s Pacific Rim manager Doug Ramsay says while it’s not business as usual, the team is constantly coming up with innovative ways of ensuring we continue to deliver on our commitments in the Pacific.
“There is a lot of work in the pipeline and we are quietly hopeful we will be there in person next winter, all going well.”
“The effectiveness of our remote working is also testament to the strong relationships we have built up through the long-term approach we take to working with and supporting our Pacific colleagues.”