Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is due to make a decision today on whether to continue with the planned date for the general election and, while there is pressure from some to push it back, an NZ Herald-Kantar Vote 2020 poll has revealed what the voters think.
National and NZ First have both called for the election to be delayed, and the poll shows the public are on their side on the matter – 60 per cent did not think the election should still be held on September 19.
That view was particularly strong among Auckland voters, who are most affected by new community outbreak of Covid-19 and are at a level 3 lockdown until at least August 26.
Only 34 per cent of those in Auckland wanted the election to go ahead as planned.
Elsewhere there was stronger support for sticking with the September date – with 53 per cent of those in Wellington saying it should go ahead as planned, and 43 per cent of those in Canterbury saying the same.
While there was some agreement that the election should be delayed, views were more split on when it should instead be held.
Nearly one quarter believed it should be held in November – which is the latest the election can be held without having to recall Parliament to vote to extend the three-year Parliamentary term.
Fifteen per cent said it should be delayed by one month to October, and 21 per cent said it should wait until next year.
The poll of 1000 eligible voters was taken from August 12-16 and has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 per cent.
The polling period started the day after Ardern broke the news of four cases of likely community transmission, breaking a 102-day streak of level 1.
She immediately put Auckland into level 3, and the rest of the New Zealand at level 2 for three days, later extending that for a further 12 days.
Ardern has consulted the leaders of all parties in Parliament on the issue.
National, Act and NZ First have all called on her to delay it, saying the September date made it very difficult for political parties to campaign, and voters would be wary of voting.
Options previously put forward by the Electoral Commission are October 17 or November 21 - anything later would require Parliament to be recalled to lengthen the term.
The decision is solely that of Ardern, who will make an announcement on it at 10am.
If she goes ahead with the earlier date and the dissolution of Parliament takes place, it will be up to the Electoral Commission to decide on a week-by-week basis whether it is possible to hold an election.
The Electoral Commission - an independent body - has made plans for voting to happen safely under alert level 2, meaning there's nothing stopping the election going ahead if Auckland's lockdown is lifted on August 26 as planned.
Her office said "a range of views have been expressed that the Prime Minister has taken on board" and before announcing her decision Ardern would review the most up-to-date health information.
Yesterday there were 12 new cases in the community and one in managed isolation. All of the 49 active community cases could either be definitively traced to the Auckland cluster or were under investigation but considered likely to be connected.
Three people were being treated in hospital, including former Cook Islands Prime Minister Joe Williams, who is also a prominent GP for the Pasifika community.