The Government is urgently investigating claims that subcontractors working on the Ultra-Fast Broadband network have not been paid for weeks.
Several contractors have told ONE News that they have not been paid by Transfield Services, with at least one company alleging that it is owed more than $1 million.
The logistics company, contracted by Chorus to install the UFB network, admitted some payment problems yesterday.
Affected sub-contractors told ONE News reporter Joanna Hunkin that they have not yet been paid for work done in June.
Tonight, Communications and IT Minister Amy Adams said she has asked Transfield to explain exactly how the situation has developed and what is being done to resolve the payment problems.
She said it is her expectation that the company would be looking to make payments "without further delay".
"It is disappointing for the contractors and their families that they have not been paid and I am eager to see this rectified," she said.
Ms Adams has asked Crown Fibre Holdings, which oversees the UFB project on the Government's behalf, to work closely with Transfield until the situation is resolved.
However, she added that the issue is unlikely to have an impact on the overall UFB build programme.
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Today, Transfield sub-contractor George Nikora told ONE News that he is owed close to $2 million by Transfield.
"Our last payment from Transfield was in July, the situation for us is very grim, we're technically insolvent," he said.
Mr Nikora added that he has had to let 85 staff go and does not know if his business will ever recover.
"They originally told us on the 22nd of August when the money didn't come through that we would be paid on the first of September, that came around they told us we would be paid on the 3rd of September, that came around nothing happened," he said.
"We've been pretty much fobbed off, there seems to be a big disconnect between the NZ operation and Transfield Australia."
And it appears that Mr Nikora is not alone. ONE News has spoken to half a dozen companies today, all of which said they are owed significant sums of money.
The payment problem may prove to be a major setback for UFB rollout, for which the Government has already committed $1.3 billion.
But Finance Minister Bill English said this afternoon that it is too early to say if the Government will step in.
"They are a couple of removes from Government. We have a contract with Chorus, who have a contract with Transfield, who have a contract with these contractors.
"Of course, on a large Government project, we think people should be getting paid, so ministers are trying to get to the bottom of what's going on there," he said.
The sub-contractors today said they have had no communication from Transfield and have not been told when or if they will be paid the money owed to them.
The first issues with delayed payment began around Christmas, when Transfield postponed payment until the new year.
Since then, there have been several postponed payments but Transfield has given no explanation for the delays.
Transfield declined a request for an interview today, but said it is working to establish the extent of the issue.
Transfield spokesperson David Jamieson denied last night that the project has come to a standstill, saying work is continuing and the payment problems may be due to the installation of new accounting software.
He said the company is investigating the issue and expects to update staff on the situation in the next two days.