Prime Minister Bill English has announced this year's election will be held on September 23, a Saturday.

Mr English said he expected the results to be close.

"MMP means we will almost certainly have to work with other parties," he said.

"My preference is to work with our current partners - Act, United Future and the Maori Party."


He said New Zealand First was "an unlikely partner" but he would be prepared, post- election, to negotiate with its leader, Winston Peters.

Tauranga MP Simon Bridges was happy a date had been set.

"Hopefully, it will be another victory for myself as local MP for Tauranga but also for the National Government."

Mr Bridges was selected again last year as the National candidate for the city "so I've been thinking and planning already".

"Essentially we spend three years planning for election day but to get a date confirmed gives us certainty going forward."

Mr Bridges said he and others in the party had spoken to the Prime Minister about what they thought were good times for an election date and were pleased at the announcement.

"It gives the Government plenty of time but also our opposition.

"We need to be ready to adapt to what is a fairly uncertain world, and the position we've got internationally and in New Zealand hasn't come about by accident. It's planning."

NZ First MP Clayton Mitchell said he had been looking forward to the date being announced for months.

Mr Mitchell believed there was a strong mood in the air for change across New Zealand.

"Internationally there has been change seen but more change is required nationally.

"We are ready as a party and I am ready as an MP for that change. I look forward to having public discussion, talking about policies which will make difference to New Zealanders."

Bay of Plenty MP Todd Muller said there was nothing like confirming an election date.

He was quietly confident he could hold the Bay of Plenty MP seat.

He said it had been a privilege and humbling experience to be in the role over the past three years.

"I love doing the job and I will certainly continue to take the National Party's record to the community for their support."

Waiariki MP and Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell said the Maori Party was hyped and ready to go.

"We have a lot of great candidates to announce and some fantastic policies to launch.

"Bring it on," he said.

"This is an exciting time for Maori and a groundswell of enthusiasm for them to come together as one political movement under a Maori Party banner.

"We're looking forward to pulling back those seats from Labour and have them stay in kaupapa Maori hands forever."

Additional reporting - Kiri Gillespie