A union representing former Pumpkin Patch employees says they are "over the moon" distribution and head office staff will receive their redundancy entitlements but it should have happened as of right.

Yesterday receivers Brendon Gibson and Neale Jackson of KordaMentha said they had recovered funds enabling former employees to have outstanding preferential claims paid.

A total of 153 former employees will receive their outstanding holiday or redundancy entitlements up to the statutory preferential cap of $22,160 per person. They can expect payment in mid-May.

Robert Reid, First Union general secretary, said it had been speaking to members and they were "over the moon" with the payout news.

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"They're glad they can draw a line under this."

But he said the payout should have happened by right and called for the government to make changes to employment law.

"Our Government should follow Australia's lead and implement laws like the fair entitlement guarantees scheme.

"No one should be put out of work wondering how they're going make ends meet. Everyone needs basic security."

Reid said similar laws saw former retail workers in Australia and New Zealand receive preferential redundancy payments but not those at its distribution centre or head office.

He said there were still unanswered questions about what went wrong with the business.

"Pumpkin Patch used to be the darling of the New Zealand business world, topping customer satisfaction surveys and raising thousands for charity.

"But mismanagement at the top saw it all go south, as the administrator's report shows. Although we have a better picture of how and why, there are still questions that need answering," he said.

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