Credit reporting agency Dun and Bradstreet says more than half of New Zealand businesses were late paying their bills during the three months ending June.
The number of days taken to receive payment in the June quarter jumped to 45.8 days, a rise of almost two days compared to last year.
Dun and Bradstreet general manager John Scott says that while the payment time is marginally less than the previous quarter, the trend is showing firms are taking longer to pay.
Mr Scott says delays can have a devastating effect on smaller companies who don't have the cash to tide them over while they wait for late payments.
He says the figures suggest that some businesses, especially in the communications sector, are struggling.
Christchurch businesses took the longest to pay their bills at 48 days, five days longer than last year, which Mr Scott says is not surprising considering the significant disruption to businesses from the recent earthquakes.