A new farm in South Canterbury has tested positive for the cattle disease, mycoplasma bovis.
There are now 18 infected properties from Southland to Hawke's Bay.
The new infected farm is in the Waimate district, the same region where the disease was first found in July last year on a Van Leeuwen Dairy Group property.
The disease can cause lameness, mastitis and abortions in cows, and is spread through nose to nose contact.
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) said the infected farm is closely connected to other affected properties, and was picked up by tracing animal movements.
MPI confirmed there was a new infected property through a 'Stakeholder Update' emailed to industry, and not the usual media release which has been standard practice since the outbreak started.
MPI said it has changed its approach and will only be issuing media releases if there are positive tests in completely new areas.
Nationwide milk testing begins on 1 February.