The focus of work to clean up the Novopay mess has now shifted to recovering $10.4 million worth of overpayments made to teachers and other school staff, Steven Joyce, the minister responsible for the flawed payroll system says.

"Completing the calculation and processing of overpayments is a significant step in the remediation work underway to clear the backlog of issues with Novopay'', Mr Joyce said.

About 15,000 overpayments worth $13.6m had been identified, of which $3.1m worth had already been repaid. Overpayments of $100 or less - totalling $62,000 had been written off.

"That means there is still around $10.4 million that needs to be recovered'', Mr Joyce said in a statement.


Six thousand school staff owing $3.4m had already been notified and a further 65000 letters seeking repayment of the remaining $7m were now being sent out.

"We realise this is an inconvenience for thousands of people through no fault of their own. While the money was overpaid in error; it does need to be repaid.''

A further 954 payments initially notified as `overpayments' were still being investigated as to their status.

Work was also continuing to clear up a backlog of issues around leave entitlements which Mr Joyce said was a complex exercise. However it was hoped all outstanding leave issues would be resolved before the end of the year.

"Substantial effort and resources'' were being applied to ensure the "challenging end of year/start of year process'' - which caused a large number issues for schools last year and earlier this year - ran smoothly.

To that end the Government was putting an extra $6m into technical support and training for Novopay support staff and school payroll administrators, including online training or `webinars' for Novopay users.