General Election in New Zealand on Saturday, September 19
Auckland, January 28, 2020
New Zealand politics is hotting up as the battle for the ballot begins with the announcement that the General Election will be held on Saturday, September 19, 2020.
This is the first time that a Labour government in office has announced the election date almost eight months in advance. It is also the first time that a Labour Prime Minister has decided on the month of September for the polls.
There were rumours that New Zealand First Leader would have preferred November as his former colleague Helen Clark did but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has clearly see the merits of holding the General Election at a time when it is convenient for a majority of the voting public.
Announcing the election date at her post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, Ms Ardern said that making the election date early is fair.
“It improves the opportunities for New Zealanders to take part in the democratic process and gives a greater degree of certainty to the political landscape,” she said.
Ms Ardern asked New Zealanders to continue to support her leadership and the current direction of the Government.
“The government is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term challenges facing New Zealand. We are running an established and effective MMP Government, and overseeing a strong economy with low unemployment and growth rates the envy of other countries like Australia and the UK while making critical investments in health, education and reducing child poverty,” she said.
Ms Ardern promised that she had sent out the Labour Party’s plan to give New Zealanders an election contest that is positive, factual and robust.
“Until then, the Government will continue on getting things done,” she said, adding that she has informed the Governor-General of the election date.
The Government’s intention is that the House will rise on Thursday, August 6, 2020 and Parliament will be dissolved on Wednesday, August 12, 2020.
Writ day will follow on Sunday, August 16, 2020, and nominations will close at noon on Friday, August 21, 2020.
Advance voting will start on Monday, September 7, 2020.
Subject to the passage of the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before the House, the last day for the return of the writ will be Thursday, October 15, 2020.
National ready to ‘hit the ground’
National Party Leader Simon Bridges said that he is ready to hit the ground running.
“A Government I lead will deliver on its promises. New Zealanders know we will get things done, whether it’s more money in your pocket, a stronger economy, less tax, building infrastructure and roads or keeping families safer from increasing gang violence,” he said.
Attacking the government, he said that Labour and Ms Ardern cannot deliver on their promises.
“We have worked hard in Opposition to hold the Government to account. We have highlighted the Government’s failure to deliver on things like KiwiBuild and light rail. We have also shown our positive plans – releasing 10 discussion documents which included 168 commitments and 280 proposals,” Mr Bridges said.
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