Delay in payments for Northland fibre network 'storm in a teacup'

FX Networks back on the job after Shanghai Communications resume payments

A delay in Chinese-sourced payments for contractors working on Northland’s Taitokerau fibre optic network is described as a “procedural breakdown” by David Heald, CEO of contractor FX Networks.

Chinese company Shanghai Communications is investing in the network.

Heald says that when the payment didn’t eventuate notification was sent to the contractors to stop work. They’re now back on the job.

“We didn’t have the working capital to cover it,” he says.

Shanghai Communications has been making monthly payments from June.

“They were 10 to 11 days late in paying,” Heald says.

Datalight is the general partner of the Taitokerau Network Ltd partnership. Director Roger MacDonald describes the issue as a storm in a teacup.

“I don’t know where the information came from but it was taken out of context,” he says. “There is no more problem that for any other company in the country.”

He says he might take legal action but won’t say against whom.

“It’s caused some concern. People get concerned when it gets in the press.”(The Northern Advocate published the original story about work being halted.)

“We’re looking at where the information came from.”

MacDonald says the late payment was a timing issue.

“The job is ahead of schedule. We’re delighted with FX Networks.”

Heald says he expects the project to be completed in February or March when the fibre will be blown.

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