Teachers and schools are hopeful the appointment of the Government's "Mr Fix it" Steven Joyce to iron out issues with the error-ridden Novopay system will see the ongoing problems resolved swiftly.
Following a Cabinet reshuffle on Tuesday, Prime Minister John Key announced Mr Joyce - who is already in charge of tertiary education, economic development and employment, science and innovation - will work with Finance Minister Bill English to find out what is wrong with Novopay and fix it.
The new payroll system has been failing since it was rolled out in August and Associate Education Minister Craig Foss apparently hasn't been able to do much about it.
Mr Key said it's likely the problems are "deeply embedded" and fixing them are a priority.
He also sent an ominous message to Novopay's creators, Talent2: "If I was running Novopay I'd consider myself on notice."
Teachers' union NZEI welcomed the news, but warned that schools and teachers expect the pay system to be working properly as soon as possible.
Transferring responsibility to Mr Joyce was an unusual step, done under the Constitution Act, and NZEI acting national secretary Laures Park says that shows the Government is finally taking the problem seriously.
"And so they should - pay mess-ups have turned the new pay system into a household name for all the wrong reasons," Ms Park said.
The union says it wants to see the issue resolved before Term 1 begins on January 28.