Staff from Wellington's Five Boroughs diner will get back the $32,000 in wages that they're owed.

The restaurant has liquidated from its former location on Majoribanks St, with liquidator's reports showing directors Bryn Thomas and Elie Assaf owe $32,400 in holiday pay and $360,000 to IRD.

Posting on the restaurant's Facebook page this evening, the directors said they met with the liquidators today and had reached an agreement which would ensure all staff would be paid in full by tomorrow afternoon.

"We've always had the staffs interest at heart and have been in their corner from the beginning," they wrote.


"We'd like to take the time to thank everyone out there who has taken the time to voice their opinions and concerns for the welfare of our staff and friends, not everything said has been in a positive way towards us personally or our restaurant but we know that everything said has come from genuine concern for the wellbeing of our workers. Please believe us that they were our number one priority as well and we have acted as swiftly as possible to try rectify the situation.

"Unfortunately these things do take time, a luxury the internet community hasn't given us.

"If you know Elie and myself at all you will know that we are in no way walking away from our financial obligations, we've made some mistakes in the past year and are paying for those now. Our debts to creditors and the IRD are being handled by our liquidators, and we have faith in the process we have entered into."

The owners have already set up a new location on Cuba St, also called Five Boroughs.

Unions Wellington had earlier organised a meeting between former workers and the directors to discuss the situation, which was set to go ahead Thursday morning.

Alongside the lost wages, several staff alleged they were given as little as two days notice that they were about to lose their jobs.

Former chef Jay Johnson said the response from outraged Wellingtonians, and the union reaching out to help the workers, had blown him away.

"It was very empowering to have somebody help us with advice.


"And then the support from the community - you know, because people really loved this place, and some of the customers were like family as well.

"But while I know people were upset, I just want to say, don't make it personal, we're not trying to destroy anybody's character."

Fiona Hewitt was one of the lucky ones who managed to get a job at the new Five Boroughs location, but still took part in the union action to get money for her previous work at Majoribanks St.

She said there was an obvious awkwardness in her current position, but the staff were all just trying to "get on with it and be professional".

Hewitt said she was friends with the directors for a long time before this happened, and she was hopeful there would still be a friendship at the end of it.

Unions Wellington representative Ben Peterson said it was increasingly clear that New Zealand society demanded the system look after people.