An Auckland woman owed more than $36,000 by her former employer is in a financial wrangle to recover the money after the company went into liquidation.
Moana Smith, who was employed by Falcon Building Solutions Limited, had been awarded $36,637.42 in compensation, wage arrears and court costs by the Employment Relations Authority last October after she was found to have been unjustifiably dismissed.
But a month after the authority's ruling, Falcon Building went into liquidation, leaving Smith $10,000 out-of-pocket in legal fees and uncertain she'll recover what's owed to her.
Smith, who has been fighting Falcon Building since her employment ended with the company in December 2017, said the drawn-out battle has taken a financial, mental and emotional toll on her.
"It's over a year now and I just never ever thought that it would come to the point where I've gone through the whole process [of the Employment Relations Authority] and everything and I'm still fighting it even though I've won," Smith said.
"It's just been so stressful in every single way."
Smith said she filed a claim with Falcon Building's liquidator last week and is now waiting to see if she will get any money.
Despite all this, Smith says her employment breakdown was a blessing in disguise as it has enabled her to focus on her renovation business full time.
"I've basically just done my business full time [since leaving Falcon Building]. I've been forced to have to do that," she said.
"At the end of the day, worst case, if I don't get the money so be it, I can't control that, but I want bring it to light for other people in my situation who may have been going through what I've gone through."