• Today: Business committee meets this afternoon to agree a parliament timetable.
• September 6: Parliament dissolves.
• September 7-21: The Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update (PREFU) 2020
• 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.
• October 30: Initial referendum results.
• November 6 Referendum results confirmed.
Chief electoral officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission is in the process of adjusting its plans.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this morning that, after consulting with the leaders of all sitting political parties, the election would be postponed until October 17.
Ardern said at the beginning of this year the election would be on September 19.
Wright said existing arrangements can be catered for, given the new date.
"These are challenging times for everyone."
She said the commission had always planned to run the election like New Zealand was in level 2.
Planning is underway to have more voting places open, and more time for people to vote.
If someone is ill, they can apply for postal voting.
The initial referendum results will be revealed on October 30. On November 6, they will be revealed in full.
She said communication was now "very important".
She said if there is an area, or a region where personal voting is not safe, polling can be adjourned until it's safe to do so in that area.
Details of that need to be worked through, she said.
She would not say what the commission's preference was when it came to the election date.
Wright said she was told by the Prime Minister last night that the election would be delayed. Ardern's deputy prime minister found out this morning.
She couldn't say when the last time an election was delayed - saying this "might be new".
She said there might be ongoing costs but that will be worked through as well.
But any media spend has been put on hold.
She said the biggest elements of changing election was shifts in staffing levels, and looking at voting places.
"We had planned for level 2 with small clusters," she said.
She said the commission was not in a position to provide online voting this election.
On postal voting, that is available for people who are ill.
But it won't be able to be scaled-up majorly in time for the October 17 election.
But she said postal voting could be scaled up to the "tens of thousands".
For example, postal voting could not be scaled up for all of Auckland to be able to vote that way.
It's still a backstop at this stage, Wright said.
She said her job is to reassure people that no matter how they vote, voting will be safe for them.
She said everyone who votes will get their own pen this year.
The commission has two million pens in stock - not enough for everyone in the country but she is calling on people to bring your own pen.
Her message this election was: "Voting early, and voting local".
She encouraged as many people as possible to vote early.
She said the commission has been working on how those in managed isolation can vote.
She said early voting could make up 60 per cent of the total. In 2017, early voting was 47 per cent.
There would be 2000 voting places across the country. She said there will be 48 voting places at marae across the country.
"This is a big general election, dealing with some big issues."
Asked about the scale of the challenge, she said the biggest issue was the reconfirmation of the voting places.
"It's a big job, but we're up for it."
The budget was $90 million and the commission was given an additional $28m to help with the changes.
But she said she is still in the process of figuring out if more money is needed.
"This short delay gives the commission more time to prepare, including freeing up facilities for early voting during school holidays," Ardern said this morning.
"Moving the date by four weeks also gives all parties a fair shot to campaign and delivers New Zealanders certainty without unnecessarily long delays."
The announcement was welcomed by the Greens, New Zealand First and Act.
At the time of publishing, National had not released a statement regarding the announcement.