Monday, August 17, 2020


Its official: the 2020 election has been delayed until October 17. Which, given the difficulties of campaigning in Auckland at the moment, seems fair and reasonable. The change has taken place entirely within existing laws and constitutional conventions, and apparently after consultation with other parties (who didn't necessarily agree, but their views were sought). The downside is that, being closer to the US election, there's more chance of our vote being affected by American cray (which will be even more intense than usual). And of course while we hope to have the current Covid cluster under control by then, another one could spring up. In which case the amendments to the Electoral Act for voting during disasters will spring into action, and we'll get to see how they work.

Parliament will now resume on Tuesday, though it has a pretty light Order Paper. Most of its business will likely be accountability - I expect an urgent debate on the current outbreak - and any necessary Covid legislation. We'll also get another Member's Day, which should see Ginny Andersen's miscarriage leave bill advance. But having done the usual end-of-term rush to clear away business, there's now less for them to do unless another crisis happens. A bunch of retired MPs will now have to come back to work as well, which they will no doubt hate. But at least with current border restrictions, they are unlikely to have fled the country.

On the plus side, another month worth of 17 year olds will now get to vote. If you know anyone in this category, get them to enrol here.