2degrees' co-founder Simon "Tex" Edwards is embroiled in an employment dispute with the company, but is still working for the mobile provider.

2degrees confirmed yesterday that Edwards had launched an action with the Employment Relations Authority (ERA), but director of corporate affairs Mathew Bolland refused to elaborate.

"I'm not going into it at all. It's an employment issue and we can't talk about employees at all," Bolland said.

However, despite the action, Bolland said Edwards was still "with the business". Edwards did not return the Herald's calls yesterday.


According to a Department of Labour spokesperson, Edwards and 2degrees had a hearing in late April. But following that, one of the parties lodged a separate action and that was now going through the mediation process.

If mediation was unsuccessful, another hearing would be scheduled.

Auckland-born Edwards is a former banker and well-known in the New Zealand telecommunications industry.

He was an investor in 2degrees' precursor, Econet Wireless, and in 2006 claimed he was a "freedom fighter for the New Zealand consumer".