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Operational Costs & Compensation

Find out how to get reimbursed for operational costs, and how to make a claim for compensation

What’s the difference between an operational cost and compensation?

Operational costs are costs you incur because of the restrictions you are under, whereas compensation is for losses you experience as a direct result of MPI’s exercise of regulatory powers as part of the M. bovis Response. Compensation is jointly funded by MPI, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand, and the process is administered and paid by MPI through the MPI Compensation Team.

You can be reimbursed for pre-approved on-farm operational costs. You can claim for compensation if you have incurred a financial loss due to MPIs exercise of powers or restrictions under part 6 or 7 of the Biosecurity Act 1993.

Operational costs

You may be able to request reimbursement for some on-farm costs if there is an urgent need, or to meet M. bovis Programme requirements.

Examples include additional transport costs, mustering and feed supplies.

You need pre-approval for operational costs. You'll need to work with your Farm Systems Manager (FSM), who can help you to have these approved.


You may be eligible for compensation if you have incurred a loss due to the Ministry for Primary Industries’ (MPI) exercise of powers or restrictions under the Biosecurity Act 1993 (the Act) section 162A, parts 6 and 7.

Examples include damage to or destruction of property and losses as a result of restrictions imposed on the movement or disposal of goods (e.g. animals). 

How to apply/claim for:

●        operational costs 

●        compensation 

 Farmer tip:

Good record keeping is essential to any claim. Keep clear records of your contracts, correspondence, verbal instructions given by MPI and AQ staff, and details of any losses you have suffered.

How do I get reimbursed for operational costs?

You need to seek prior agreement on any actions and operational costs you wish to claim for.

Operational costs need pre-approval before the expenditure is incurred. Operational payments are considered as part of any compensable losses claimed.

Work with your Farm Systems Manager (FSM), who will help you to have these approved.

You can apply for support for the following on-farm operational costs.

  • Equipment hire - where you need to hire extra farm equipment for animal welfare reasons, or for farming operations to continue.
  • Animal feed - if required to ensure the welfare of animals under movement restriction or where the animals cannot be moved off the property.
  • Fencing - where existing fencing is not adequate to contain animals for the protection of neighbouring farms. Costs could include hiring additional casual labour and temporary fencing materials.
  • Cleaning - costs associated with extra cleaning and disinfection required under a Notice of Direction (NOD) or RP (Restricted Place).
  • Mustering cattle for census or for each sampling round - discuss this with your Farm Systems Manager.
  • Transport - can include:
    • transporting stock to the meat processors
    • specific M. bovis cleaning and disinfection of the stock truck
    • transporting replacement stock if you were issued a Notice of Direction (NOD) to cull your original stock
  • Processing charges - M. bovis processing charges from the meat processor (unless already paid by the M. bovis Programme)
  • Vet charges - You may be reimbursed for these. The M. bovis Programme may also pay for certifying that your animals are fit for transport.

For more information about operational costs, contact your Farm Systems Manager.

Freephone: 0800 00 83 33

Email: Mbovis_Purchasing@mpi.govt.nz

How do I claim for compensation?

Assistance preparing your claim

DBCAT (DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand Compensation Assistance Team) provides free assistance to farmers preparing compensation claims. We encourage you to talk to them early in the process.

This guide from DBCAT has a lot of valuable advice about the compensation process, and how they can help.

Are you the legal owner?

MPI can only pay the legal owner of the affected property - you need to provide evidence to show that you’re the legal owner of the property, goods or stock directly affected by MPI's exercise of powers. 

When to make a claim

You can claim compensation from the date the loss was incurred. Claims cannot be made in advance of a loss being incurred. All claims should be submitted to MPI within one year from the date the loss could be reasonably verified.

Making a claim - checklist of what we need

Make sure you've provided us with:

  1. a completed claim form, correct to the type of loss you have experienced as a direct result of an exercise of powers authorised by the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI):
  2. supporting documentation and information
  3. any additional information that explains your circumstances.

Once you have completed your claim form, email a copy along with your supporting information to compensationcoordinator@mpi.govt.nz

Someone from the compensation team will contact you with the outcome as soon as possible.

Each claim is different, and more complex claims can take more time to assess.

Compensation assistance team - DBCAT

We encourage you to use DBCAT (DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ Compensation Assistance Team) to help you put your compensation claim together.  DBCAT provides a free service supported by the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) and run independently by DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb NZ.

They will help you to:

  • understand whether you can get compensation
  • clarify what losses you can claim for
  • work through the compensation claim forms
  • advise you about the compensation claim process 

Contact DBCAT

Phone: 0800 32 22 81

Email: admin@dbcat.co.nz

How we process your claim

Once MPI’s Compensation Team receives your compensation claim form, along with all your supporting information, they will start the assessment. They'll then seek approval of any decision.

  • Making more than one claim

    Making more than one claim

    You'll need to make a separate claim for each of the different types of losses you have incurred. You will have to complete the relevant claim form associated with the losses.

    All claims should be submitted to MPI within one year of the date of loss. If you experience further losses after being paid compensation, you can still submit further claims.

  • Back up your claim with information to support your loss

    Payment of compensation depends on you meeting certain conditions laid out in the Biosecurity Act. In order for the M. bovis Programme to pay compensation, we need to be able to support your loss. To do this, you will need to provide information that substantiates the type and amount of loss.

    It’s a good idea to keep all the documents and records that can support the verification of your claim. These include paid invoices, statements, farmland accounts, milk dockets, pasture records and contracts.

    You also need to show you considered and took reasonable steps to mitigate (reduce or avoid) the loss. To do this, explain the steps you considered to mitigate your loss, and what steps you actually took. This may include making changes to farm operations to avoid losses or using alternative ways to generate income.

  • Can compensation be paid for a non-directed cull?

    Compensation can only be paid for loss caused as a direct result of MPI’s exercise of powers. This could follow a Notice of Direction (NOD) to depopulate animals, or as a result of movement controls.

    If you culled stock without direction from MPI, or had stock that were culled before any NOD was issued or movement controls began, you will be unlikely to meet the eligibility criteria set out in the Act.

    For voluntary culls, you will need to provide evidence of those losses. MPI will look at compensation on a case-by-case basis.

  • Compensation claim forms

    You'll need to complete the compensation claim form relating to your loss and submit the information to verify this loss.

    You can either download the relevant compensation claim form below or ask us to send you one by emailing the Compensation Coordinator.

  • Can I dispute the outcome of my claim?

    If you don’t agree with the assessment of your claim, you can request an internal re-assessment. This option is available for up to 12 months after we’ve sent you a decision letter. You can request an internal re-assessment by emailing CompensationCoordinator@mpi.govt.nz.

    If you’ve had your claim re-assessed internally and don’t agree with the re-assessment of your claim, you can request an independent review. This option is available for up to 3 months from the date of the letter advising the outcome of the re-assessment. You can request an independent review by emailing Secretariat.Mbovis@mpi.govt.nz.

 Who to contact

For general information about claiming compensation, contact the compensation coordinator:

  •  Phone: 0800 00 83 33
  •  Email: compensationcoordinator@mpi.govt.nz
  • Post: Ministry for Primary Industries, PO Box 2526, Wellington 6140
  • Courier: Ministry for Primary Industries, Charles Fergusson Tower, 34-38 Bowen Street, Wellington 6011