Broadband infrastructure company, Chorus, has labelled Transfield Services's failure to pay New Zealand-based sub-contractors as "unacceptable," but welcomes the Australian company's assurance it is urgently looking to amend the issue.
Transfield is an Australian operations, maintenance, and construction services provider to the resources, energy, industrial, infrastructure, property and defence sectors.
Chorus was first made aware of the issue on Tuesday, September 3, at which point it contacted Transfield for clarification.
The company said it has fully paid Transfield for all work undertaken and has no outstanding payments due; August invoices are scheduled to be paid on September 20.
"We are dismayed that this situation has arisen, and in particular we find the treatment of the sub-contractor community to be unacceptable," Chorus CEO, Mark Ratcliffe, said. "We note Transfield's assurances that it is endeavouring to make good on any outstanding payments and look forward to resolution."
"For UFB to be a success we need a stable and sustainable industry and our sub-contractors are a critical part of that ecosystem."
He also advised that if any contractors require support or advice from the provider, they should make immediate contact.
According to a statement from Transfield, it has paid around a third of the outstanding amount, and has undertaken "a detailed examination and found a solution which should allow all subcontractors affected to be paid in full in two business days."
Transfield services infrastructure business CEO, Nicholas Yates, said the company will be in direct contact with the sub-contractors today to discuss when payment is to be processed, and will prioritise those most impacted.
"We apologise for the disruption caused by payment problems, and we're concerned and disappointed that it has escalated to this level," Yates said.
A Transfield spokesperson confirmed the affected sub-contractors were working on an ultra-fast broadband (UFB) roll out, but did reveal any further details.
Chorus is responsible for around 70 per cent of the UFB initiative. Ten per cent of its build area is handled by Transfield (incorporating Rotorua, Taupo, Whakatane, Blenheim, and Nelson), with the rest shared by Downer and Visionstream.
Transfield said that, in total, it is responsible for 40per cent of the NZ Government's UFB roll out.