Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue

It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue the failed payroll system two years after it was introduced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“How on earth did the Education Minister sign off on a system that was so deficient? And why did it so long for the minister who took over responsibility, Steven Joyce, to finally decide to take action?

“Teachers and school staff have waited long enough for Novopay to be fixed. It has taken up their valuable teaching time, as well as hours and hours of school administration. Students and parents have also paid the price for this ongoing uncertainty.

“Taxpayers are now footing a multimillion dollar bill because of Hekia Parata’s incompetence. By last month, the Government had already spent $43 million trying to fix this lemon. Now Talent2 is dropping a hot potato in the taxpayer’s lap. Goodness knows how much more will be shovelled down this black hole before the problems are finally fixed.

“The Government taking over Novopay changes nothing. If Talent2 couldn’t make the system work, what confidence can teachers and school staff have that the Government will be able to succeed where they failed?

“How many pairs of hands have been over this? Hekia Parata, Bill English, Craig Foss and even the Government’s Mr Fix-It couldn’t sort it out.

“Novopay has been a shambles from start to finish,” Chris Hipkins says.