Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces 2020 general election will be held on September 19; Says Labour's plan is to give NZers a contest that's 'positive, factual and robust'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces 2020 general election will be held on September 19; Says Labour's plan is to give NZers a contest that's 'positive, factual and robust'

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the 2020 general election will be held on Saturday, September 19. 

The election will fall at the end of school term 3 - a week before the holidays, and after universities' mid-semester breaks.  

"When it comes to the campaign, I’ve set out Labour’s plan to give New Zealanders an election contest that is positive, factual and robust," Ardern said.

“Until then, the Government will continue on getting things done.”

Ardern said there would be significant announcements in the next two weeks alone, including an announcement tomorrow on how a sizable portion of the Government’s additional $12 billion infrastructure spend will be allocated.  

National, the Green Party and ACT said in media releases that they welcomed the election date announcement. 

National leader Simon Bridges said: “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.

“New Zealanders have seen that Labour and Jacinda Ardern can’t deliver. While there’s a lot of announcements, leadership means actually getting things done."

Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said: “We are looking forward to campaigning on our track record in Government, and to winning a mandate to go further and faster to reduce emissions, protect nature, and ensure everyone has enough to thrive. 

“2020 will be a historic election which will see people vote on two referendums [cannabis and euthanasia] as well as their representatives in Parliament. We urge people to check their enrolment and make a plan to vote this year."

ACT leader David Seymour said: “We will be campaigning to protect the rights and freedoms of New Zealanders and to give Kiwis more control over their lives.

“Whether it’s raising tax, taking more control over local schools, undermining free speech or rushing through bans on firearms, Labour believes it knows what’s best for Kiwis and has undermined their freedom."

Interest.co.nz has sought comment from NZ First. 

Ardern said: “I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which 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."

Ardern said the Governmend had made "good progress", but had more to do. 

She said there was no one factor that persuaded her to pick September 19, but said she considered the likes of holidays and sporting fixtures that might affect voter turn-out.

“I’ve always believed that announcing elections dates 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.

The Government’s intention is that the House will rise on August 6 and Parliament will be dissolved on August 12.

Nominations will close at noon on August 21. Advance voting will start on September 7.

Official election and referendum results will be declared on October 9.

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54 Comments

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“I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term challenges facing New Zealand,” Ardern said.

Quite a far cry from the "Do everything now now now, attack attack attack" policies that saw them elected. Funny how things change. Also liked how she tied her own personal brand in there. One might feel that's a bit of a double-edged sword, given her leadership when it comes to cabinet accountability has been about as existent as progress on Auckland's Light Rail project.

Completely with you here. I don't think JA is a master of the dark arts of marketing, but she definitely believes in the power of propaganda (she probably would have studied Edward Bernays in the undergraduate years [if not, she's not as educated in comms as she may seem]). Her timing and understanding of public perception is somehow more acute than 'Scotty from Marketing' across the ditch.

More likely both parties will be using their cabals of propagandists - whoops, public relations strategists - who spend hours looking at the hoi polloi and how they should be messaged and massaged to get the desirable end result.

Cambridge Analytica and the like haven't gone away. Cambridge Analytica was folded conveniently, now reemerged as Emerdata. Audiences are still ripe for all sides' taking.

Surely if its factual they will lose.
If its positive then its b/s or something they hope they can achieve in the future.
If its robust then its mine is bigger than yours all over again.
HO HUM

Yes, the relentless focus on the positive is a cop out. Schoolboy rugby / netball halftime-type nonsense.

I cannot be bothered casting my vote to any party. They are equally useless.

I'm with you, my friends who voted Labour last election won't this year.

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Agree - it's difficult to think of areas in which Labour has actually made a positive difference.......

TTP

Lots of work in Wellington created for advisors / working groups / committees or whatever JA created to do the existing bureaucrats jobs.
but other than that yeah shes a desert out there.

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They've probably been most positive in not being as bad as National would have been. E.g. in instituting the Foreign Buyer Ban, Healthy Homes, ringfencing etc....at least they've started broaching some of those problems that would only have gotten worse under National.

That said, they need to get moving.

Sunk cost fallacy was the first thing I thought when reading this, but I gave you a thumb up for your posadivity and persustence

Given the alternative was likely to be worse for young Kiwis, it makes no sense for them to vote to have Simon and co begin slowly boiling their frog-bottoms again.

I suspect a change of PM would mean Simon would spend a lot of time undoing changes the coalition has implemented. A sort of reverse direction for at least the first year. But I'll wait to see if they actually propose new things, rather than just oppose existing things.

About the only new thing so far has been Strike Force Raptor...

And their perennial favourite of RMA reform

Oft talked about, never done.

Maybe they'll create a working group?

He also mentioned for every law introduced they will get rid of two. (amazing originality). Personally I'm looking forward to Simon selling me the Space Force. Can't be to far off.

I might still vote for them if the Nats don't come up with anything positive. I am kind of willing to give them one more chance at delivery. With an urban development authority established with empowering legislation they will have no excuses next term.
Having said that, I don't have much faith in them and if the Nats offered a semi decent tax cut I might vote for them out of self interest.

JK's tax cut required the GST rise to offset it, as he knew our economy wasn't going to grow terribly much. Probably the last thing the country needs in the face of a global recession would be that those most able to pay tax, end up paying less tax.

Time and time again (Trump's cuts being another example), there is no stimulus and/or no trickle-down effect.

What we do need is tax brackets automatically adjusted to CPI. And if there were to be any cuts, it should be to GST.

Yeah it's probably a forlorn wish

Tax brackets adjusted certainly and as well, allowance made to off set bracket creep which is one very good policy promise National has made that seems to be forgotten. GST has become rather a sideline hasn’t it. Despite being part of a government that introduced it, the like of Clark,Cullen & Anderton next time round declared it was a tax that discriminated against the less wealthy, and on that note re-installed the income tax reductions that had off set its introduction. It is now argued that any reduction would not be passed on down to the point of sale. Probably right about that one.

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Let the Bullshitting begin!

You mean the bribing. Them bribing us with our own money.

H L Mencken: "An advanced auction of stolen goods..."

National won't want to win the next election because they won't be able to recreate the housing boom for Auckland like the did before by stilling back and doing nothing. Even if the take away the Foreign Buyers Ban it won't make any difference. Trump Trade War will remain in place with China and China won't be able to relax their capital flight restrictions.

Having become visibly too beholden to the Chinese Communist Party, National now face the challenge of trying to unwind the foreign buyer bans etc. without being conspicuous about it.

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"I will be asking New Zealanders to continue to support my leadership and the current direction of the Government, which is grounded in stability, a strong economy and progress on the long term challenges facing New Zealand" Judge us on our aspirational words not on our delivery!

ACT leader David Seymour said: “We will be campaigning to protect the rights and freedoms of New Zealanders and to give Kiwis more control over their lives." Yes by doing absolutely nothing about immigration.

like the rest of them

As neoliberals they support the free and unfettered movement of people and capital...

Free and unfettered movement of people Fritz? I assure you this is not the case. They support well-regulated immigration for people that will benefit the country and adopt kiwi values. They only support free movement between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, which I personally think is a first class idea.

What? The countries most immigrants are coming from are China, India, Phillipines etc.

Yes, whats your point? Don't know about you, but open borders with the likes of India might not end up so well for us.

The latest figures showed South Africans being the largest number of permanent immigrants I thought ?

Fine but then once again it shows they don't stand by their classical liberal founding principles.
Just like they hate the RMA but it's fine in Epsom!
Are they reverting to a Conservative party?

ACT has a moderate position when it comes to immigration. They can still stay true to their libertarian values without taking extreme positions on everything. They also have a very sensible approach to environmental issues (user pays for pollution etc) - lots of people are surprised that ACT believes NZ should play its part in addressing climate change, for example.

ACT is a very socially liberal party. With the exception of fiscal responsibility, I see very little overlap with the New Conservative party.

Not if they're poor people moving into Epsom, no.

Nor if they have the potential to affect school zones. Nominal libertarians, ACT, till the rubber hits the road.

Well done JA.
You are better than the last lot!

that's not setting the bar very high

depressing isn't it.

"Well done" for announcing the election in the same manner as John Key and English before her, as in 'early'?
Or are your standards so low that merely having democratic elections at all is somehow a triumph?

Either way I fail to see how this alone makes her 'better than the last lot', but when have Ardern boosters worried about pesky details?

Well with this sort of development some of us may not see the next election?
2714 cases now in Hubei, up a stunning 91% overnight..

Hooray! It's our year. I know they may seem just as bad as each other, but this is still the best system of government to live within available to humanity on the planet today. If you don't like it you can go back to China.

I am looking foward to seeing if the National Party campaign branding features the five stars of the Chinese national flag....

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"When it comes to the campaign, I’ve set out Labour’s plan to give New Zealanders an election contest that is positive, factual and robust," Ardern said.

“Until then, the Government will continue on getting things done.”

Factual - um, her second sentence saw that promise already broken.

Ha ha, good one

What about a few brickbats for the Greens??
Northland and Coromandel overrun with feral pigs spreading kauri dieback disease, hundreds of thousands of wallaby wrecking the central North Island and Central Otago, all sorts of deer and goats and NZ First running wild; struggling to think of any new green initiatives(no, banning gas exploration increases the likelihood of having to burn coal in the future, already importing coal from Indonesia).

They are far more about social justice than the environment these days.

We were importing cheap thermal coal from Indonesia back in 2003, it has nothing to do with the Oil and Gas exploration ban.
https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=351...

So??
The point is, banning oil and gas exploration is unlikely to be a green initiative if we have to burn coal instead of gas, which produces 3x the CO2 output.
I accept that there might be no gas to find. I have trouble believing we can be carbon neutral by 2050, especially in light of unfettered population increase leading to increased energy demand outstripping the rate we can dam rivers(in droughts),etc.
No current or past protests from Greens over Indonesian coal and coal-miles I can recall.

Nats have an identity crisis. Are they the puppet of chinese interests, would they continue to sell NZs sovereignty out to chinese money?

Will need a very clear statement of policy in this area to have any chance. Polling will clearly highlight this. One cannot help wonder at the level of obligation to outside interests that they have not already put this to bed.

Do they? Or is it just because you say so? In my experience, Chinese donors frequently donated to both parties, until Labour decided that having an 'Asian-sounding' name made you an illegitimate property investor. So if they just donate to National now because of Labour's pathetic stunt which they refused to apologise for, that means the National Party is bought and paid for? Gosh it must be fun to live in a world where the consequences of your mistakes can be spun as a stain on your opponent's character.

Where have you been the last few years...?

tbh Labour signed the original FTA and Nats simply followed it. Since they are in the government, Labour still allows water to be bottled and lands to be sold to Chinese firms, and she said a little over subjects related to hong kong, taiwan and SCS to avoid to upset China. She is asking kiwis strained in wuhan to obey the chinese laws rather than organising the first flight to get them out. NZ is a small fish in international politics, all political parties know it. If you are after a statement, you don't need from the opposition but the government. talks are cheap when you are in opposition.

As usual, immigration (with a bit flavor of xenophobia or more precisely sinophobia in the recent years) is going to play a critical role in the upcoming election. Nats is having an alleged spy while the government is considered doing nothing on the immigration. Positive campaign? I don't think so, both sides are going to attack each other on immigration related subjects while trying to gain immigrants votes as much as they can. i think it will be very messy.