Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


PQ 8. Novopay, Minister—Statements

8. Novopay, Minister—Statements

[Sitting date: 31 July 2014. Volume:700;Page:8. Text is subject to correction.]


8. CHRIS HIPKINS (Labour—Rimutaka) to the Minister responsible for Novopay : Does he stand by his statement from over 16 months ago with regard to Novopay “I want to see within three months a situation where, as much as possible, workloads from administrators are back to where they were before this thing started”?

Hon STEVEN JOYCE (Minister responsible for Novopay): Yes, I do. I appreciate the member might have missed it, given that he has asked me only two or three questions during that time of the 2,821 questions—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Just answer the question.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE : But I am pleased to advise him that within 3 months of making that statement the error rate, or the incidence of people overpaid, underpaid, or not paid, had fallen to less than 0.5 percent, as recommended by the ministerial inquiry. It has remained that way for all but three start-of-year pay periods this year. That is a total of 30 of the last 33 pay periods. For example, in relation to the most recent pay period, pay period 8, a total of 14 staff were notified as not paid, 15 underpaid, and 11 overpaid. For the benefit of the member, that is 40 out of 9,953 staff.

Chris Hipkins : Is he satisfied that the workload for school administrators is now back to where it was before Novopay was implemented; if so, what evidence does he have to demonstrate that that is actually the case?

Hon STEVEN JOYCE : For the majority of administrators the workload is back, as I said, as much as possible to where it was before this thing started. There are some administrators who are still finding challenges. The ministry has provided payroll advisers to those people to assist them with the issues they have.

Chris Hipkins : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I apologise to you and to the Minister, because I know the noise was coming from my side of the House. I could not hear the Minister’s answer, and I cannot ask a supplementary question if I could not hear what he was actually saying.

Mr SPEAKER : I am going to ask the Minister if he would repeat his answer, because I was having trouble hearing it as well.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE : As I said, most administrators will find their workload back to approximately where it was when this thing started. There are some who are still having challenges, I agree. They are being assisted by dedicated payroll advisers employed by the Ministry of Education.

Chris Hipkins : Has he started working on alternatives to Novopay in the event that the ongoing problems with Novopay cannot be resolved; if not, why not?

Hon STEVEN JOYCE : I am not sure that the member should recommend that as the member who actually recommended to the previous Minister to start the Novopay process in the first place. He will forgive me if I do not take his advice on this occasion, because I am sure the former Labour Minister wished he had not taken his advice on the earlier occasion.

Chris Hipkins : Did the Ministers responsible receive advice prior to signing off Novopay’s implementation that there were 147 known software defects with the system and that “the risk of failure is high and the consequences of failure serious” ; if so, why, after 2 years of this debacle, is he refusing to explore alternatives to sticking with a payroll system he himself has described as “a dog with fleas”?

Hon STEVEN JOYCE : I am sorry the member does not understand this, but when 90,913 staff are being paid correctly and 40 are not, in a pay period—

Andrew Little : Answer the question.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE : —I am answering the question; hold your fire—the simple reality of it is that it would make no sense to put the staff through what Mr Hipkins now proposes they be put through. But, then, his advice does not surprise me because it was he who was advising the previous Minister to throw out the previous pay system, and put Novopay in, in the first place.

Chris Hipkins : Why should the taxpayer have confidence that his decision to take complete control of Novopay will produce better outcomes and provide better value for money given that buried within the agreement he has committed to making ongoing payments to Talent2 of over $9 million for a system that does not work?

Hon STEVEN JOYCE : Dear, oh dear! This is another example of why it would have been a good idea to have a better ministerial adviser back in 2008 than this one. The member seems to be suggesting that the solution to Novopay now is to say that we should not pay for any maintenance or any services over the next 6 years of its use to try to prove that that would be a good idea, and that Talent2 would still look after the programme on that basis. This member was out of his depth in 2008 and he is out of his depth now.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news