A New Plymouth drilling company shut its doors on 25 staff yesterday and a construction company has signalled it may close its Taranaki branch with the loss of 37 jobs.
Central Directional Drilling's 25 employees may be the latest victims of Australian contractor Transfield Services' inability to pay its contractors on time.
General manager Duane Leggett said that the company had downed tools because of financial hardship but would not comment further.
The company has been involved in the installation of fibre-optic cable for the ultrafast broadband initiative.
However, a worker, who wanted to remain anonymous, said it was a shock to have lost his job.
He claimed that the company's financial strain was a result of not being paid on time by Transfield.
Just as workers at the drilling company were finding out their jobs were gone, 37 employees at New Plymouth's Fletcher Construction branch were told theirs could also be axed.
Fletcher building and interiors general manager Greg Pritchard said the changing nature of commercial construction projects had prompted the firm to consider refocusing activities.
He said the branch closure proposal reflected both the nature of work available in Taranaki and the shift to focusing project support from Wellington and Hamilton.
Meanwhile, Transfield Services said yesterday it had paid the money it owed to subcontractors working on the ultrafast broadband initiative.
David Jamieson, a spokesman for the Australian engineering firm, said outstanding payments were direct-credited to its contractors' accounts on Friday night.
The company acknowledged last week that it had fallen behind in paying dozens of contractors but Jamieson would not explain the delay.
- © Fairfax NZ News