Dairy start-up Happy Valley Nutrition said it had repaid funds to the Government that it received under the wage subsidy scheme.
The scheme is aimed at supporting employers who have been adversely affected by Covid-19 pandemic so that they can continue to pay their employees.
To be eligible for the wage subsidy businesses must declare that they have had a 30 per cent revenue drop due to the pandemic and that will retain named employees for at least the duration of the subsidy.
Data from the Ministry for Social Development website showed Happy Valley Milk paid six people a total of $42,000 out of the Government's wage subsidy.
Happy Valley Milk, which also trades as Happy Valley Nutrition (HVN) said in response to questions from the Herald that it had paid back the money paid to it under the subsidy.
"At the commencement of the lockdown, HVN's projected revenue showed a 30 per cent revenue decline on account of Covid-19 measures, hence we applied and received the wage subsidy," it said in a statement.
"At the end of April HVN updated its projected revenue which showed that it was unlikely to experience a 30 per cent decline in revenue in April, May or June," it said.
"While this may yet change, HVN decided to pay back the subsidy," it said.
Jayne Russell, group general manager employment at the ministry, said a business that applied for and was granted a sum based on a predicted revenue was allowed to wait to see if a predicted loss actually occurs over the period January to June 2020 before deciding whether it should repay.
"If the loss is never realised, the business would need to repay the whole amount because they were never eligible," she said in a statement to the Herald.
The Government, in its May 15 budget, unveiled a $3.2 billion extension of the wage subsidy scheme.
Happy Valley has land-use consents from the Otorohanga District Council to establish and operate a $20m fully integrated milk processing, blending and packaging plant on a site near Hamilton.
Once built, Happy Valley intends to specialise in consumer-ready infant milk formula and other nutritional milk powder formulas using A2 and organic milk.
In its latest update, expenditure for the third quarter was $2.6m, which when compared to budget, was $0.4m less than expected.
The company also reviewed its business plan and contingency strategies given the events of Covid-19 during late March and early April.
During this review process the company revised its timetable to continue working towards achieving a July 2022 operations start date, but also had a plan for the commencement of operations by July 2023 in the event the company is delayed.
The company has adjusted its budget to allow for the revised timetable with remaining pre-project activity costs outlined in the prospectus to be met out of the company's existing cash reserves.
This does not include costs for site preparation works which are scheduled to begin later this year.
"In order to meet the operations start date of July 2022, funding for the construction of the facility and settlement of the properties that the company recently contracted to purchase will now likely occur in the first half of 2021," in its latest quarterly update.
The company's shares last traded at A21c each.