Australian food maker Goodman Fielder is facing a legal battle in New Zealand over its plans to pay drivers less for delivering the company's bread.

New Zealand's Business Day reported that proceedings were launched by nine contractors after Goodman Fielder told them their commission structures would change.

Payments are partially determined by an estimate of costs incurred by contractors, but Goodman Fielder cut the cost input figures last month, the newspaper said.

Some drivers claim their income would drop by 42% as a result of the new structure. The contractors are seeking an interim injunction to stop the cuts being imposed until a dispute resolution process has taken place.

When contacted by just-food, Goodman Fielder declined to comment. "We are making no public statements in regard to this case as it is before the courts at the moment," a spokesperson said.

A High Court hearing on the injunction request is due on 24 October, the report said.

In August, Goodman Fielder reported a 17.3% fall in annual profits and blamed lower earnings from the bakery and dairy divisions caused by high raw-material costs and lower sales.