The Government has put together a "recovery package" to help get farmers back on the business track more quickly after their farms had been cleared of the Mycoplasma virus which has struck at 74 sites, including at least two in Hawke's Bay.

At this point 36 had been subsequently destocked and cleared of Mycoplasma bovis.

For Jeremy and Sharron White, who farm at Patoka, it was heartening news, although in their case it was late in arriving.

"It is a positive thing and great news but it has been a long time coming," Sharron White said after hearing the announcement.


Their herd was struck about a year ago and they had to send 700 bulls to the slaughterhouse in November — their herd became the first in the North Island known to be infected with the disease.

The Whites were effectively without an income for about seven months.

They relied on support from throughout the rural community and said in many ways it had come too late for them as they had to "do it ourselves".

"We had a good team around us."

There was nothing from the Government then and even with the news of a recovery package they still "had a fight to fight" as it had effectively put them back a couple of years.

She said at times their predicament had been heartbreaking but was pleased some action was now taking place and they would be "contacting them" to see what could be provided.

"I hope the people who need it get it."

The recovery package was rolled out in an announcement made by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Biosecurity Minister Damien O'Connor at a farm in Wairarapa on Tuesday morning.

"I know it's been an extremely tough time for many farmers," Ardern said.

"Losing herds, pets and years of stock genetics built up over decades is an incredible hit to take for New Zealand's one shot to protect our national herd and economic base.

"For those families whose farms have been cleared of Mycoplasma bovis, restocking marks an important turning point – it allows them to begin moving forward again."

In the Whites' case they had begun to buy new stock.

"The Government remains committed to phased eradication, which is progressing well, and to helping farmers get back to business," the Prime Minister said.

Thirty-six affected farms were "getting back to business" and $25.6 million in compensation was being paid to farmers.

O'Connor said the Government had been working closely with its farming industry partners and was confident eradication was on track and that they had a "good chance" of it being successful.

"It's important to remember that confirmation of newly identified properties does not mean the disease is spreading," he said.

"It means we are tracing historically infected cattle and milk movements, many of which occurred before the disease had been discovered."

The recovery package includes:

* DairyNZ and Beef+LambNZ Compensation Assistance Team. DairyNZ and Beef + LambNZ have put together a team of rural professionals well versed in both farming and the compensation process who can sit down and work with farmers on their claims.

The $400,000 cost is funded through the package.

* Improved Compensation Form and Guide: Set to be released this week, the simplified form will be easier to follow and the supporting guide will make clear what documents need to be submitted to ensure prompt payment of compensation claims.

* Online Milk Production Losses Calculation Tool: An online tool for farmers to easily estimate their milk production losses, to speed up compensation claims, will shortly be released.

* Rural Support Trust boost: The Ministry for Primary Industries has now completed training 80 rural support trust members to provide crucial welfare support.

* Regional Recovery Managers (in addition to the Acute Recovery Team): The regional centres in Invercargill, Oamaru, Ashburton and Hamilton will each have a regional recovery manager.

They are being nominated and seconded by DairyNZ and Beef+LambNZ and will help farmers develop a tailor-made recovery plan.