[4 May/Radio NZ]

Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, wants farmers to pay 40 percent of the $1 billion cost of eradicating Mycoplasma bovis, however National said it was well outside the agreed GIA framework. National Party Agricultural Spokesperson, Nathan Guy, leaked details of the expected costs of different options to deal with the disease, and accused the government of pressuring farmers to pay up to half of the costs. The agreement divided agricultural diseases into ten categories, and the cost-share for any particular incursion is agreed between the MPI and the signatories. The costs for dealing with Mycoplasma bovis ranged from $450 million to $870 million depending on the response taken. Mr O’Connor said however that he thought those were underestimates. Mr Guy said that if you don’t have compensation, the issues are buried underground. He added that the coalition government’s priorities didn’t appear to be rural communities, but instead giving university students help with the free tertiary education rather than the important issues.