Prime Minister Bill English is giving his State of the Nation speech in Auckland this afternoon.

The scene-setting speech will feature new National Party policy and will also delve into English's background and what drives his political beliefs.

It follows his announcement yesterday that the general election will be held on September 23.

In confirming the election date, English said National would campaign on a platform of stable government and a growing economy.


The Prime Minister also outlined his future governing preferences, saying he wanted to continue working with Act, United Future, and the Maori Party.

"Together this group have provided stable and successful government which matters more now at a time of uncertainty in many parts of the world," English said.

While New Zealand First was an "unlikely partner" because of its protectionist views, they remained a possible coalition partner.

New Zealand leader Winston Peters has so far refused to indicate whether he would prefer to work with National or Labour.

Labour or the Greens have been ruled out of any possible coalition by National. English said they had strayed too far left and had become inward-looking.

English also confirmed that National was likely to do "deals" in the Ohariu and Epsom electorates to help re-elect United Future leader Peter Dunne and Act Party leader David Seymour.

Labour Party leader Andrew Little said he was ready to go to the polls in September on a platform of housing affordability, access to healthcare and quality education, safer communities and a stronger economy.

"Only by changing the Government can we do that," he said.

Little and Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei gave their State of the Nation speeches in a joint event on Sunday.

The speeches contained no new policy, but aimed to show that the two parties could work well together and form a stable government.