Barry Soper: Election date change was inevitable

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 17 Aug 2020, 1:00PM
(Photo / Getty)

Barry Soper: Election date change was inevitable

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 17 Aug 2020, 1:00PM

The Prime Minister's election decision was inevitable.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the election will now be held on Saturday 17th October, four weeks after it was due to be held on September 19th.

While the Electoral Commission said voting could safely happen under Alert Level Two, Ardern says she also had to factor in participation of voters, fairness and certainty.

However, Ardern says Covid is the world's new normal and gave the assurance she won't change the election date again.

Parliament will reconvene tomorrow, and its dissolution will now be September 6th. 

Newstalk ZB's political editor Barry Soper told Kerre McIvor Ardern needed to push back the date to ensure a free and fair election.

"You've got to give your opponents time to go out and campaign.

"That's what democracy is all about, so they will be able to do that now."

He says Ardern's decision will ensure people feel safe enough to participate in public voting.

"We're one of the oldest democracies in the world, and it's very important for us to go out and exercise our democratic right every three years."