Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed the General Election will be held on October 17, a move welcomed by Pakuranga MP Simeon Brown.
“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 said.
“Moving the date by four weeks also gives all parties a fair shot to campaign and delivers New Zealanders certainty 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.”
She said 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.
“I will not change the election date again.
“This decision gives all parties time over the next nine weeks to campaign and the Electoral Commission enough time to ensure an election can go ahead.”
Simeon Brown said he is pleased the Prime Minister delayed the election.
“It would have been impossible to have a fair and safe election when we were coming out of a second lockdown and when voters’ minds are rightly on their health, jobs and businesses,” he told the Times.
“Holding an election during this difficult time would not give voters the opportunity to consider the different policies leading into this election.
“It would also be very difficult to campaign at Level 3 or Level 2 due to the restrictions which are in place.”
For example at Level 2 public, meetings can’t go ahead if there are more than 100 people present.
“It is vitally important that the election is held at a time when New Zealanders are able to consider the policies put forward by our political parties as well as to consider the two important referenda which we will be voting on.
“I’m looking forward to campaigning for a National Government led by Judith Collins and to continue being a strong voice for Pakuranga in Parliament.”
- [Yesterday] Business committee met to agree a parliament timetable
- September 6: Parliament dissolves
- September 13: Writ Day, nominations close September 18
- October 3: Advance voting begins, last day for return of the writ is November 12
- October 17: Election day