Key Points:

Augie Auer has died.

The veteran meteorologist and former TV3 weather presenter suffered a heart attack in Melbourne while dining with family members last night.

He was on holiday to celebrate his wedding anniversary and 67th birthday. His son Andy is planning to travel to Australia this afternoon to help with plans to bring Mr Auer's body back to New Zealand.

Mr Auer emigrated to New Zealand in 1990 after 22-years at the University of Wyoming as Professor of Atmospheric Science. In New Zealand he became the chief meteorologist for MetService until 1998.

He is attributed with improving and updating the technical competence of the MetService weather forecasting staff.

In 1998 he became TV3's weekday weather presenter and the network's resident meteorologist in 2002.

He recently became involved in the debate over global warming, helping to found the Climate Science Coalition, a group that questions claims humanity is responsible for rising temperatures.

Coalition spokesman Owen McShane said news of Auer's death comes as a terrible shock. He said Mr Auer was simply a good man and despite often being the subject of personal abuse for his stance on climate change, he never let it get to him.