Election delayed in New Zealand due to Covid-19

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces a new date for national elections, during a news conference in Wellington, New Zealand, Monday, Aug. 17. Photo by Mark Mitchell/AP.

Aukland, New Zealand — New Zealand announces that they will be delaying their election due to coronavirus.

The prime minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern announced that the general election has been postponed by a month due to Covid-19.

The vote that was due to take place on 19 September, will now take place on 17 October.

On Monday Ms Ardern said that the new date would allow parties “to plan around the range of circumstances we will be campaigning under”.

“This decision gives all parties time over the next nine weeks to campaign and the Electoral Commission enough time to ensure an election can go ahead,” Ms Ardern said, adding that she had “absolutely no intention” of allowing any further delays to the vote.

However, the opposition National party has argued saying that the election should be delayed as restrictions on campaigning mean Ms Ardern had an unfair advantage.

After a number of new infections were found from the city, the country’s largest city, Aukland had just went back to lockdown earlier this week.

Nine additional confirmed cases were found in Monday, increasing the number of active cases linked to the Auckland cluster to 58.

The announcement of new cases in the country had shocked the country as it had recorded no locally transmitted cases for more than three consecutive months.

While the country has four “alert levels,” Aukland has been on Level 3 since the new measures were announced. The rest of the country is on Level 2.

New Zealand reported over 1,600 infections and 22 deaths since the pandemic began, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.