Novopay review too little, too late

The Government’s plan to hold a ministerial inquiry into the Novopay debacle is a step in the right direction - but ultimately it is too little, too late, says Chris Hipkins, Labour’s acting Education spokesperson.

“Labour has been arguing for months that a full and independent review of Novopay was urgently needed.  It’s taken six months, but I’m pleased the Government is finally getting real about the full extent of the problems.

“Steven Joyce’s admission that serious problems are likely to continue for some time will come as no surprise to the thousands of school staff who have had their pay mucked-up since Novopay went live last year.

“Novopay clearly wasn’t ready for implementation.  The testing and staged roll-out that was set out in the original contract wasn’t adhered to, and contingencies weren’t put in place.  A full independent review is needed to establish why that happened.

“However a review alone isn’t enough. The Government needs a Plan B – and fast.  If Novopay doesn’t shape up soon, other options need to have been fully investigated.

“Schools also need a lot more support. It’s just not good enough that six months after the first botched pay day under Novopay, that schools are still having to throw so much of their time and resources into making sure staff get paid on time.  That’s time and money that should be being spent on educating our kids.

“I also call on the Government to now publicly release all of the documentation on Novopay. They’ve been sitting on requests from MPs, media, schools and others for months now.

It’s time for the Government to put all the facts out there and tell schools, parents and children exactly what it will do to put an end to six months of stuff-ups,” says Chris Hipkins.