National leader Judith Collins is calling on Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to delay the election until at least after November.

But even that might be too soon, Collins told media this afternoon.

She went as far as saying it would be National's preference was that the election – at the moment scheduled for September 19 – should be held next year instead.

Covid-19 coronavirus: New case travelled to Rotorua while showing symptoms
Covid 19 coronavirus: Second wave: Two workplaces shut, workers showing covid symptoms
Covid 19 coronavirus: New case visited Westview medical centre in Glen Eden
Covid 19 coronavirus lockdown: Jacinda Ardern says Auckland in level 3 at midday; NZ in level 2


That would give opposition and smaller parties the opportunity to actually campaign.

Voters, she said, "need to know what they are buying" when it comes to the opposition and their policies.

All major political parties have cancelled their campaigns due to the new community transmission outbreak in Auckland.

National has cancelled its campaign launch in South Auckland this weekend.

The four cases of unknown origin plunged the city into level 3 until midnight on Friday.

The rest of the country will be at level 2 for at least the same period.

At the moment, Ardern has the power to push the election out until November.

But Collins said it would be National's preference that the entire Parliament be recalled in November so MPs could vote on postponing the whole election until 2021.


Meanwhile, Collins has also been highly critical of the Government level of transparency – specifically in regards to the level of consultation she received from the Prime Minister.

Ardern called Collins shortly before she made the announcement at close to 9.30 last night.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters labels Judith Collins ‘careless and irresponsible’ act of saying the Government allowed community transmission. Video / Jason Walls

The National leader said she did not have enough time for a proper briefing and she was also upset that National had not been consulted.

The normal pre-election convention, Collins said, was that the Government of the day does not make major decisions of national significance without proper input from the Opposition.

"She has my phone number," Collins said, questioning why Ardern did not bring her into the decision-making loop yesterday.

However, under the Cabinet manual - the ministerial rule book - the Prime Minister is not obligated to do this.


"It is for the Prime Minister to make the final decision as to whether or not a decision or action (including a significant appointment) should proceed during the pre-election period."

In fact, in a press conference this afternoon Ardern noted as a "point of interest" that caretaker provisions in New Zealand actually only apply after an election has taken place.

"Before that, Cabinet has the right and the ability to Govern – and that is what we are doing."

Collins also said it was not acceptable that National's health spokesman, Shane Reti, has been asking for a briefing from health officials all day and had not yet received one.

Collins pushed back on the suggestion that she was playing politics on this issue, saying that "asking questions is what the Opposition does".

Meanwhile, National's Deputy leader Gerry Brownlee said while New Zealand is in the pre-election period, Ardern – also the leader of the Labour Party – should only be fronting press conferences if she is discussing a health issue.


"I think you need to be very careful about how you use the airwaves," he said.