Responsibility for sorting out problems with the Novopay teachers’ pay system has been transferred to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, as part of the Cabinet reshuffle announced by the prime minister today.
The troubled computer system has cast a pall over the portfolio of Education Minister Hekia Parata, and there had been calls from the teaching profession for her to take a more direct role in sorting it out. She has now been relieved of the responsibility.
“I share the concerns of teachers and principals at continuing problems in the operation of Novopay, and fixing this as quickly as possible is a priority,” Prime Minister John Key says in the announcement.
“A fresh set of eyes is needed and I have asked Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce to take on this responsibility.”
The change will be achieved through a transfer of responsibility to Joyce under section 7 of the Constitution Act, which allows any member of the Executive Council to take on “any function, duty, or power exercisable by or conferred on any Minister of the Crown”.
“Getting Novopay working as it should may take some time, given what appear to be the systemic issues involved,” Key says. “I can assure teachers that we want to get Novopay sorted as soon as possible.”