National leader Judith Collins has got in on the early voting action, casting her ballot at an Auckland church where she made a quick prayer beforehand.
Collins, who stands in the Papakura electorate, lives in Tāmaki, a seat comfortably held by National MP Simon O'Connor.
She arrived about 11am to place her vote at St Thomas Tāmaki, stopping in the chapel to offer a prayer before going in to vote.
"It was a really easy choice - two ticks blue," Collins said.
She also revealed she voted for the End of Life Choice Bill, and against the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill.
Before voting she was asked by the church's priest if she would like to say a prayer, replying: "what a good idea."
When asked later why she did so during a media event, she said media hadn't asked to follow her in but she "didn't want to make a fuss".
Collins was asked if choosing a church to place her vote in was strategic, to attract religious supporters of the New Conservatives.
She said it wasn't.
"Look, in my maiden speech 18 years ago I declared right then and there I believed in God, and I still do."
She "sometimes" went to church on Sundays, but prayed "every day", she said.
But she impressed if elected prime minister she would not make it part of her public presence, as former National leader Bill English, who is Catholic, had.
"Church for me is a private matter. But if people are going to ask me about it ...
"I was brought up as an Anglican, baptised and confirmed by the Church of England. I attended Sunday School as a child and later bible class. It is inherently part of who I am."
She wouldn't rule out working with the New Conservatives - as she had Advance New Zealand - but didn't fancy their chances of making it into Parliament.
"We have to wait and see how things go. We haven't seen that sort of party come into Parliament in my time."
Collins said support for her party was gaining momentum, reflecting on a new poll for Auckland Central that showed National Candidate Emma Mellow closing the gap with Labour's Helen White, and Green MP Chloe Swarbrick not far behind but soaking up a large amount of the left vote.
"I feel very confident we are going in the right direction, but I am not taking anything for granted. I am absolutely devoted to spending every moment I am awake making sure we have a better Government than we have at the moment."
O'Connor won the Tāmaki seat in 2017 with a margin of 15,402.
The seat has been held by National MPs since 1960 when it was won by Rob Muldoon, who served as prime minister from 1975 to 1984.
In 2017, National also won the largest share of Tāmaki's party votes with 62 per cent compared to Labour's 25 per cent.
None of the five other candidates have been in Parliament before.
Meanwhile, Collins remains a clear favourite to be re-elected to her Papakura seat, which she's held since 2002.
At the 2017 election she won with a margin of 7486.
In 2017 National also won the largest share of party votes with 51 per cent compared to Labour's 34 per cent.
However, boundary changes this year mean the electorate has changed significantly, gaining the north-eastern part of the former Hunua electorate.
Labour leader and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern cast her vote on Saturday in Mt Albert, just hours after the early voting period began.
"Two ticks Labour," she told reporters,
She was joined by her fiancé Clarke Gayford, who also voted for Labour and Ardern - she is the local candidate in Mt Albert.
"He didn't get a choice," Ardern joked as the pair left the voting station.
The Electoral Commission's Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright has said early voting could make up 60 per cent of the total overall number of votes. In 2017, early voting was 47 per cent.
The commission has been encouraging people to get out early and vote. The last day of the voting period is October 17.
Covid-19 significantly changed the plans for the election, which was initially scheduled for September 19.
The election results will be made known as they come through on the night of October 17.
But the initial results of the end of life choice and the cannabis referendum won't be known until October 30 – and the full results will not be confirmed until November 6.