Coronavirus risk sees NZ delaying election

Amy Langley, Chief International Officer

16 Aug 2020

New Zealand's general elections, set to occur on September 19 this year, have been postponed by a month due to coronavirus risks. Jacinta Ardern, the nation's Prime Minister, stated that pushing elections until October 17 will give politicians time "to plan around the range of circumstances we will be campaigning under".

Postponing the vote "gives all parties time over the next nine weeks to campaign and the Electoral Commission enough time to ensure an election can go ahead", said Ardern on Monday the 17th of August. The Prime Minister also stated she had no intention of delaying the elections any more than the one-month postponement.

Active cases in Auckland have risen to 58 with the addition of 9 new cases last week. Unfortunately for New Zealand, which was the first country to have no new locally-transmitted cases this year, the small spike has resulted in the country's largest city going back into lockdown to control the spread. Data from Johns Hopkins University shows New Zealand reporting 1,600 infections and 22 deaths since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.