Bankers come to rescue of unpaid teachers

Four major retail banks are among those clambering to help teachers caught up in the Novotpay payroll saga.

In all, eight banks – ANZ, ASB, Westpac, BNZ, Kiwibank, SBS Bank, TSB and The Co-operative Bank – are now offering interest-free overdrafts until January 15.

Earlier in the month another hole in the Novopay payroll system emerged when it was discovered a school could see the pay, and edit details, of a teacher who worked for another school.

Since Australian company Talent2 (formerly Morgan & Banks) was paid $30 million to develop Novopay three months ago, thousands of teachers have been incorrectly paid or not paid at all.

Now the New Zealand Bankers’ Association says because the issue affects the largest single payroll in the country banks are queuing up to help out.

“It’s about helping to ensure affected teachers and staff continue to have access to funds over the holiday period,” association chief executive Kirk Hope says.

The overdrafts are limited to the value of the total amount of payments which have been delayed.

Mr Hope says affected staff members need to provide evidence to their bank saying they have missed payroll payments and their bank will then arrange the overdraft facility.

bcunningham@nbr.co.nz

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8 Comments & Questions

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$30m for a payroll system?? This fiasco belongs right up there with other legendary government IT disasters - IRD, ACC. INCIS etc etc.

Why wasn't the job given to an NZ company? They would have done a much better job and even if they didn't the screw ups would have been much less expensive.

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Actually, the IRD system when it was first implemented was one of the more successful government IT projects as I recall. Only problem is that was back in the 90s and now it is creaking under the load of all the add-ons.

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Wow. $30m?
I could develop a system that doesn't work properly for a lot less than that!

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It gets worse. The $30m is what's been paid so far. Over the life of the contract a further $40-$50m is payable. We should have a law that these types of contracts must go to NZ companies as long as their tenders are competitive.

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No doubt someone high up has called in a few favours from some banking buddies to get the government out the quagmire this Christmas.

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Yes, I wouldn't be surprised!

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Well, isn't that great.

The people responsible for shaping young minds prove that they live week to week and have no savings and now the banks prove that they made the right decision by bailing them out.

Any youngster who was thinking of becoming self-reliant, resourceful, frugal, strategic and independent should forget about it. The message of the last 20 years is don't think, don't save, rely on others, and someone will always come to your rescue.

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Terrible comment.

You're assumption that teachers have no savings overlooks the majority of teachers have probably worked hard for a number of years on relatively low salaries to purchase their own home and have mortgages to service (and that's where a lot of their weekly pay goes - paying down debt which the rest of the country could take a lesson in).

So no they don't have savings in the form of plenty of 'cash' in the bank, but that's not say there's no savings via other forms of assets. Which is made no easier by those supposed "independent", "strategic", "self-reliant" boffins who leveraged themselves into multiple properties, taking advantage of tax rules that distorted incentives and basically ceating wealth that shouldn't exist.

Thankfully, there are still people around who take more value out of teaching our young people than the prospect of financial gain - something to aspire to rather than deride.

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