Minister in charge of Novopay Steven Joyce says he understands the frustration of secondary teachers who say they will pursue legal action over the Novopay payroll system.

Post Primary Teachers Association president Angela Roberts announced today the union would take legal action on behalf of some of its 18,000 members.

PPTA could not confirm who the action would be taken against - the Education Ministry, Australian company Talent2, or both.

Ms Roberts said teachers who were members of the PPTA were losing patience with ongoing problems with the payroll system and sympathy from Mr Joyce had not resolved their frustrations.


"Continued Novopay errors mean schools, students, principals and administration staff are at the end of their tether," said Mrs Roberts.

Mr Joyce will receive a draft technical audit by the end of the week that will give a clear indication whether the flaws with Novopay are "terminal".

The PPTA had not spoken with Mr Joyce before announcing it would pursue legal action.

Mr Joyce said today there was no easy path forward but said he had stressed to the union that the draft technical report this week would provide clarity on the future of the payroll system.

"There is a lot of work going on from a lot of people right around the country, and here in Wellington, trying to do the best they can with what they've got."

The Education Ministry will brief key stakeholders on details of a survival package for schools dealing with Novopay on Thursday.

Talent2 has begun one of three planned software upgrades of Novopay.