Prime Minister postpones general election until October 17

updated By Bronson Perich

Covid-19 continues to change the world.

Due to the recent Covid-19 outbreak in Auckland, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has decided to delay the general election until Saturday, October 17.

Arden says she conferred with all the political party leaders, the Electoral Commission, Business NZ and the Council of Trade Unions.

“The Electoral Commission, via the Ministry of Justice, has advised me that a safe and accessible election is achievable on this date. This short delay gives the Commission more time to prepare including freeing up facilities for early voting during school holidays," Ardern says.

She says moving the date by four weeks also gives all parties a fair shot to campaign and delivers certainty to New Zealanders without unnecessarily long delays.

“With the re-emergence of Covid-19 in our community these are not ordinary times and so while the decision as to the election date sits with me, I spoke with all party leaders to seek their views. Covid will be with us for some time to come. Continuously pushing out an election does not lessen the risk of disruption and this is why the Electoral Commission has planned for the possibility of holding an election where the country is at Level 2, and with some parts at Level 3."

Key dates

  • Today: Business committee meets this afternoon to agree a parliamentary timetable
  • September 6: Parliament dissolves
  • September 13: Writ Day, nominations close 18 September
  • October 3: Advance voting begins,
  • 17 October : Election day
  • November 12 last day for return of the writ

Ardern says she will not change the election date again. She denies any that she was influenced by any lobbying from any political party.