Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently criticised the previous government over the spread of Mycoplasma bovis, saying "this government is having to pick up the pieces of significant neglect and under-investment."

The Country's Jamie Mackay challenged Ardern saying this kind of political finger-pointing, (which is on both sides, as National MP Nathan Guy has accused the Government of being too slow with compensation), is "rather churlish" and does not help farmers trying to deal with Mycoplasma bovis.

Ardern says her comments came about from "frustration" with suggestions "in the house ... and in the news," that "somehow we had created the situation we were in," and that she had real concerns with the NAIT tracking system.

Despite the politically-charged environment, Ardern says the Government's focus is "making sure we do everything in our power to eradicate," the cattle disease.


Mackay says another criticism of the Government is that they wouldn't care if dairy cow numbers dropped, a comment which Ardern finds upsetting.

"For anyone to try and imply that I've got any other focus other than trying to make sure New Zealand is free of a problem that afflicts a number of other comparable countries, I find pretty hard to hear. Why would I want to put that kind of stress on our farming community."

Also in today's interview: The Prime Minister ponders the Budget, babies and a royal wedding.

Listen below: