Dunedin labourer Rory O'Mahony was shocked when the
Education Ministry deposited $1700 in his account without
reason or explanation. Photo by Craig Baxter.
The Education Ministry is unfazed that a payroll error
gave a Dunedin man $1700 even though he is not a teacher.
Labourer Rory O'Mahony (27) said when he asked a bank teller
in Dunedin to change an automatic payment date at Christmas
so the payment would not default, he was told there was
plenty of money in his account.
''It was a bit of a shock.''
When the bank teller located a payment of $1700, the teller
asked him if he was a teacher.
''And I said no.''
He had been a teacher's aide ''well over a year ago'' but the
payment was nonsensical, he said.
His former employer, St Joseph's Cathedral School, in
Dunedin, could not provide him a reason for the payment.
''I've talked to my old boss and she couldn't figure it out.
She has no trace of it on the books.''
He has put the money aside but a dishonest person might have
spent it, which was a concern, he said.
''The money is sitting there, someone else's money ...
it could be somebody else's holiday pay and they're missing
Ministry chief information officer Leanne Gibson said the
reason Mr O'Mahony received the payment was because he was
still showing as a valid employee of the school in the
''The money he received belongs to St Joseph's Cathedral
School. There is a standard procedure for recovering the
money, or he can write a cheque directly to the school for
the money that he received.''
All payments made from the Novopay system were to known
employees, who could be tracked from information on the
system, she said.