26 Feb 2016

The dairy downturn starts to bite in rural New Zealand

From Nine To Noon, 9:07 am on 26 February 2016
farm building in Southland

Farm building in Southland Photo: Justin McCormack / CC BY-NC 2.0

A Southland rural vet and business owner says the ripples from the dairy downturn are already striking other sectors of the rural economy.

Mark Bryan is based in the small rural town of Winton in Southland. The region is home to 11 percent of the country's dairy herds and according to Statistics New Zealand it has one of the least-diversified economies in the country. Mark Bryan says he knows of farms which have already been foreclosed on, leaving their suppliers out of pocket.

Mr Bryan tells Nine to Noon that rural businesses in his area have been suffering cashflow problems for nine months and many have already shed staff and downsized their operations.