Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the Government is sticking with its plans to hold the general election on September 19, despite calls from her Deputy to push it out a couple of months.
This morning, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters said he was pushing for the election date to be delayed until November 21.
This was a view all MP from New Zealand First – Labour's governing coalition partner – shared, Peters told RNZ.
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But speaking to media this afternoon, Ardern said there were no plans to change the election date at this stage.
"From our perspective, it's too soon to make a determination of where we will be even in a months' time from now," Ardern said when asked about pushing the data out.
Although the date is something the Government will keep reviewing,
"At the moment, we've kept it to September 19."
She said the alert level New Zealand is in at the time of the election and the campaign season will make "a big difference".
New Zealand is currently in alert level 4 – Ardern said on April 20, two days' before the lockdown is scheduled to end, the Government will make a decision as to whether lockdown restrictions will be eased.
"We need people to go out and physically vote – that will be a significant determining factor.
Mass gathering rules are likely to be in place for "some time," Ardern said.
In fact, according to the lockdown rules, gatherings of 500 or more people are banned at level three and two.
National Leader Simon Bridges said it was too early to say if the election should be delayed.
But, if it was to be pushed out, it would need to be delayed until 2021.
"I do not think we can have an election if we have a situation where Parliament is not up and running … well in advance of an election."
TOP, a party not in Parliament, say the election should be pushed out until 2021.
"If we aren't completely certain that the Government will have Covid-19 under control by September, then we should make the smartest move [and delay it until 2021]," TOP Leader Geoff Simmons said.