Another IT blow out

The Herald reports:

The cost of implementing a new child support system has rocketed to $163 million – a blowout that dwarfs the bill for fixing the controversial Novopay school payroll system.

The new figure has been described as “gobsmacking” by a former top Government executive who was in office when the cost was originally put at $30 million.

The child support reform affects 134,000 paying parents and 138,000 receiving parents. The $30 million estimate was issued in 2011.

But implementation has been delayed until April 1 this year, to allow Inland Revenue time to change its computer system.

Further amendments to the 2013 enabling legislation were introduced to Parliament last week to make more changes. These, if passed, will take the cost to $163 million – $133 million more than first budgeted.

Robin Oliver, former Deputy Commissioner of Inland Revenue, says this is “gobsmacking”.

“I baulked at the $30 million, so $163 million on IT costs and administrative costs for simply changing little bits of the [child support] formula around is an enormous sum of money to be spending.”

Staggering amounts.

Taxpayers’ Union director Jordan Williams said the child support blowout was the biggest since his group was formed in 2013.

“This dwarfs Novopay,” he said. “$163 million is an extraordinary cost, more than $100 for every New Zealand household.” The changes in the formula are in fact the biggest since the current child support system was created in 1991.


A formula change should not cost that much to implement.

Comments (45)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment