Auckland's primary school principals are refusing to take on any new work with the Ministry of Education until it resolves ongoing problems with its new payroll system.

Hundreds of teachers throughout the country were underpaid or overpaid in the last pay cycle due to problems with the $29 million Novopay payroll system, introduced in August.

Auckland Primary Principals' Association president Jill Corkin said members were being encouraged not to undertake any new initiatives with the Ministry as a result.

"The reason for that is just the excruciating workload that Novopay is presenting and the pressure and stress that it's causing, because we just can't see that we can take anything else on until we can sort it out," she told Radio New Zealand.


"There will be people without money for Christmas that they ought to have. Annual leave is not correct. There's a whole host of things that are going to affect people as far as their employment is concerned."

A survey by the New Zealand Principal's Federation found around 90 per cent of principals had unresolved problems with the most recent pay cycle.

Half of the 2400 principals contacted responded to the survey.

It found 86 per cent did not have confidence that the problems would be resolved by the end of the year.

Secondary Principals Association president Patrick Walsh told Radio New Zealand that secondary principals were also unhappy.

"The levels of frustration have reached a very high pitch and we are receiving calls on a daily basis from principals who want us to explore legal action, compensation and a call to remove Novopay and put in a system that will actually work for them."