Prime Minister Bill English is following the practice of his predecessor and taking a week's holiday before the election.

The election is in just 10 weeks' time.

National's campaign manager, Steven Joyce, said today it was the right thing to do.

"As one who has just had a horrendous cold, I think taking a few days and building up a few Zzzz's ahead of the nine weeks to go is probably a good idea," Joyce told reporters at Parliament.


Sir John Key had a holiday in Hawaii shortly before the 2014 and another in 2011.

"It is important that your candidate be rested up and ready to go and just have a few days to recharge the batteries before you head into the final nine weeks," he said.

National had been "running pretty constantly year round" giving people a clear indication of the sort of Government that they can expect."

"I think from the last few days we've seen it could be confusing if they were looking at the other side as to see what sort of Government they might be getting."

Paula Bennett is carrying out Prime Ministerial duties, though not as acting Prime Minister because English is in the country - thought to be in Dipton, Southland, where he grew up.

Bill English on White Hill, near Dipton, earlier this year. Photo/ Claire Trevett
Bill English on White Hill, near Dipton, earlier this year. Photo/ Claire Trevett

This week is the second week of a two-week recess.

Parliament resumes next week for its last sitting before the election on September 23.

Labour leader Andrew Little has a heavy schedule this week and is not taking a break before the election.


Nor is New Zealand First leader Winston Peters or Green Party co-leaders James Shaw or Metiria Turei, according to their spokespersons.