Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has defended comments made by Minister for Regional Development Shane Jones about dairy giant Fonterra.

Jones says he told Fonterra it had become disconnected from the farming industry, and the chair should step down.

Ardern was visiting the Fieldays event in Hamilton where she said that his comments were made on a personal level not ministerial.


"The comments that Shane Jones made, he made in a personal capacity, he did not make them as a minister and it's not government policy - end of story."  


In March, Fonterra announced losses of more than $300 million.