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Support for farmers

Info for affected farmers

The Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) eradication programme can be disruptive and stressful for farmers, families and farm staff. We work closely with each farmer to help them through the process and get them back to farming as usual.

Every farm and farming family is different, so we aim to provide a range of support that suits each impacted farmer’s individual needs.

Farming through M. bovis

A range of support available is available to you:

  • On-farm and phone support - if you’re under movement controls, we’ll assign you a Farm Systems Manager (FSM) who will visit you regularly and be your main point of contact. A Rural Support Trust facilitator will also be available. If you’re under Active Surveillance, you’ll have a dedicated Farmer Liaison team available by phone
  • Farmer Information packs - are available for farms undergoing testing, movement controls or depopulation, as well as for neighbours of farms that have M. bovis.
  • Testing - we take into account the unique situation on your farm, and work to reduce the impact of on farm testing. We've boosted lab resources, so we can provide you with your test results as soon as possible
  • Mustering support we may be able to contribute to the cost of mustering cattle for testing or census. Eligibility criteria apply, talk to your Farm Systems Manager or the Verification and Allocation team.
  • Farm recovery plans - a Farm Systems Manager will help put together a tailored recovery plan for farms under movement controls
  • Professional advice on recovery - we’ll contribute up to $5,000 (excl GST) for professional advice for farms that need to be depopulated. Criteria apply.

Compensation and other financial help

  • Compensation is available for losses incurred as a result of the Programme restricting cattle movements, and destroying or damaging property.
  • DBCAT (DairyNZ Beef+Lamb New Zealand Compensation Assistance team) is a free  service,supported by MPI and provided by Industry. The service helps farmers affected by M. bovis prepare their compensation claims.
Other financial help
  • Operational costs - reimbursement for some on-farm costs if there is an urgent need, or to meet M. bovis Programme requirements is available.
  • Banks - we have engaged with banks nationally. Don't wait, talk to your bank about financial stresses. If you need us to, we will talk to your  bank or write letters of assurance to them.
  • Inland Revenue (IRD) - can provide tax flexibility and other measures to help, depending on your situation. Don’t wait - talk to your accountant as early as possible about this and the impact on your taxes.  IRD understands that tax isn’t the first thing on your mind during a stressful time. Talk to your tax agent with any concerns or questions about filing returns or paying tax. They will work with IRD on any tax concerns.
  • Working for Families Tax Credits - are payments for families with dependent children aged 18 or under. Find out if you’re eligible at www.ird.govt.nz/wff-tax-credits or talk to your accountant or Rural Support Trust facilitator.
  • Work and Income (WINZ) – Ministry of Social Development - there is a range of assistance available for people or families whose incomes have been severely affected. Your RST can talk to you about what sort of help WINZ may be able to provide. You can also visit www.workandincome.govt.nz or call WINZ on 0800 559 009.
  • ACC - should you need assistance with ACC levies please contact your Farm Systems Manager.

Support from industry

The industry groups below are will to help provide support through M.bovis and farm recovery:

  • DairyNZ and Beef+Lamb New Zealand
  • Federated Farmers
  • OSPRI for NAIT support
  • Red Meat Profit Partnership
  • DairyConnect

 Industry contact list

Stress & Wellbeing

Stress is a normal response to a situation like this, but you don't need to go through M. bovis alone.

It’s important to get a support team around you. Family, friends and trusted advisers will be able to help you. Sometimes it‘s helpful to seek support, assistance and expertise from someone objective, who is not involved in the process.

Chat with a local, rural person who can point you in the right direction to get through your current challenges. Support is free and confidential.

1737 need to talk

Is a free, confidential service you can call or text anytime on 1737, to talk to a trained counsellor. You can make a one-off anonymous call or if you think it might be useful to call back another time, then request a case number so they can try to connect you with the same person to save you explaining your situation again.

If you do find your stress levels are beginning to impact on day-to-day quality of life, for example, you’re not sleeping, drinking more alcohol, finding it hard to make decisions or family relationships are affected, then talk with your GP or a trusted health professional. They can help you work on improving your coping strategies and keeping yourself well.

Programme resources
  • Rural Support Trust - all farmers under movement restrictions get free support through their local Rural Support Trusts
  • Farmer Support Advisers are available in our regional offices. 
Online resources

As well as talking with friends and advisers here are other support you can to use:

depression.org.nz We all face challenges to our mental wellbeing but there is a way through. When we are anxious or depressed it can change the way we think, feel and act. Dealing with the tough times can be hard but you’re not alone. Take a small step by getting ideas or support on how to take care of yourself and others.
The Five Ways to Wellbeing Ētahi ara e rima ki te ngākau ora, help people stay mentally well.
Ministry of Health Find information and resources on how to cope.