There are three key areas affecting farmers in the latest Budget says Dr Tim Mackle.

The chief executive of DairyNZ told The Country Early Edition's Rowena Duncum that a focus on mental health, the Sustainable Land Use Package and biosecurity will be of interest to rural communities.

Mental Health

"Rural communities do need a mental health focus, [and it's] something that's talked about a lot more these days thankfully, because it does impact people. So that's a good thing.


"At the same time there's quite a lot of money that's been committed to it at a national level, so we are very keen to see how that will flow through into the rural communities - and particularly the front line services for mental health in those rural communities.

"Dairy farming has always come with some challenges that can impact on wellbeing. It's a wonderful lifestyle but the number and scope of those challenges is definitely increasing as we know, right now".

Listen below:

Sustainable Land Use Package

"Again that's a really important area around water in particular, but also around the climate change area, [with the] Zero Carbon Bill just being announced recently.

"On the water front - very good to see funds focus on water quality improvements and land use decisions and so on. We're looking forward to seeing more details around that. We're doing a lot of work in the dairy sector in this space already and so we would be keen to continue to partner with Government and other partners in this area.

"When it comes to the climate change area - the Government has talked a lot about a just an fair transition to a low emissions economy and so we believe that appropriate funding from both industry, but also from government is a key part of that change.

"Farmers do need to be supported to make successful changes to farming practices so we can enjoy the benefits from these sectors in to the future".


"It's obviously front of mind for many, particularly those who have been impacted in our sectors by M. bovis and there's been a big commitment there by the Government and we're grateful for that partnership.


"There are other areas where we need to lift our game in biosecurity too and the Minister's [Minister for Agriculture Damien O'Connor] has been very clear about his aspirations and vision around that too.

"There's always a risk of unwanted pests and diseases making their way into our country and affecting farming full stop - not just dairy farming, and this has been a big reminder, a stark reminder with M. bovis.

"I think there's been a big shift in awareness about biosecurity on farm. Our job's not done, we've got to do more, and that will be the competitive advantage for New Zealand and we need to leverage that - and that means we've got to work on it".

Also in today's interview: Mackle reveals how he will celebrate World Milk Day tomorrow.