Westpac NZ is working with farmers affected by the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis.
Westpac NZ head of commercial and agribusiness banking Mark Steed, says relationship managers have contacted all customers who own cattle herds that are carrying the disease or are suspected of carrying it, and have offered support.
“We’re in regular contact with all of our customers and close contact with those directly impacted. We’ve already helped one farmer to purchase a new dairy herd and have also provided some care packages as an acknowledgment that many of these communities are going through a tough time.”
Mr Steed says any customers who encounter financial adversity may be eligible for further support under Westpac NZ’s Adverse Events Policy.
“This encompasses things like additional working capital support, suspending loan principal repayments and allowing access without penalty to funds that may be on term deposit.
“It’s the same type of support we offer when customers are affected by disasters like floods and drought.” Mr Steed said Westpac NZ customers affected by Mycoplasma bovis were yet to indicate that they needed this level of assistance, but the bank is ready to offer support as is needed.
“We’re here to make sure our customers impacted by this disease are able to keep farming. We’d encourage any customers with questions about how we can support them to get in touch with us.”