Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor have announced a package to help speed up the recovery process for farms cleared of Mycoplasma bovis.
Ardern and O'Connor made the announcement during a visit to Bryce and Julie Stevenson's Wairarapa drystock farm that was infected with the cattle disease.
O'Connor told The Country's Jamie Mackay the visit was made to find out how the clean up and restocking process had affected the Stevensons.
"We just wanted to go meet with them, [and] listen to them. It hasn't been an easy process for them, but it was good to see that they are back on track now."
Read more Mycoplasma bovis stories here.
Out of 24,000 dairy and beef farms in New Zealand, only 74 have been infected with Mycoplasma bovis to date and of those 74 Infected Properties (IP), 36 have been destocked and cleared of the cattle disease.
"It's an amazing story of success," says O'Connor, who is cautiously optimistic that Mycoplasma bovis can be eradicated from New Zealand, although he admits there won't be a clear picture until spring milk testing is completed.
"We're going to get there. We absolutely are."
The recovery package announced today and being rolled out by MPI, DairyNZ and Beef+Lamb NZ, includes:
• A compensation assistance team to work with farmers on their claims.
• Improved compensation form and guide.
• Online milk production losses calculation tool.
• More Rural Support Trust staff.
• Regional recovery managers for Invercargill, Oamaru, Ashburton and Hamilton.
Also in today's interview: Damien O'Connor discusses the freshwater working programme released yesterday and Jacinda Ardern talks about the pesky possums that have taken up residence in her roof.