Prime Minister's reassurance mission to farmers amid Mycoplasma Bovis outbreak

The Prime Minister has been on a mission to reassure farmers in the Waikato about Mycoplasma bovis, the very same time Northland farmers were hearing of the likely spread to two farms in their area.

Without a public list of infected farms, secrecy and suspicion is rife - and farmers are unsure who they can trust and who they can share equipment and stock with.

Jacinda Ardern is trying to calm farmers' fears about the spread of the cattle disease, but confusion and rumour-mongering means the situation's gone from bad to worse.

"We've got a number farms that are being affected, but, actually, those farms who are not, as long as they manage animal movement, this is something that they shouldn't have that level of fear around," Ms Ardern says.

Yet farmers are fearful.

Garry Reymer's Cambridge farm isn't infected, but there is a Cambridge farm that is.

He says the biggest frustration is not knowing where it is, and the secrecy that surrounds that - which he says is turning communities toxic.

"List the farms, get it out there. We're trying to do everything we can, but we're limited; we're hamstrung if we don't know which farms are involved."

The Government's still culling cows, trying to eradicate the disease and still avoiding the international response which is containment - allowing farmers to manage it themselves.

Agriculture Minister Damien O'Connor admits the response has been bungled.

"Perhaps we could've moved a little faster. I think we underestimated the significance of this disease. Perhaps mistakes may have been made."

No new money was set aside in last week's budget to deal with this biosecurity disaster, which means the Government will almost certainly be forced to cut into its surplus.

"We've made provision in the fact we've given ourselves breathing room for just these very issues," Ms Ardern says.

Breathing room, but still nothing concrete - no money or response plan - so for farmers, there is still no relief.

Industry bodies have called for an private investigation, independent of the Government, to look into the handling of the response.

The next steps of the Government's response are expected to be known within the week.