18:52 GMT30 September 2020
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    The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, announced that the election in the country had been moved to 17 October, due to the coronavirus pandemic, and noted that she would not again change the date.

    Jacinda Ardern said during a Sunday press conference that there is no suggestion that New Zealand would lift the coronavirus-caused restrictions until 19 September, the initial election date.

    She noted that the "participation of voters, ensuring a fair election and certainty that the election is held in a timely way, are all key considerations".

    "The Electoral Commission have actually prepared for a range of circumstances including since April, holding the election at level 2. I do think it's a decision that needs to stick and the changes should not be made again", Ardern asserted, saying that "COVID is the world's new normal".

    ​According to Ardern, once the parliament has dissolved, if the Electoral Commission believes they cannot hold a safe election, they have the power to move the date of the election.

    There are currently 1,622 registered COVID-19 cases in New Zealand, with 22 related deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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    coronavirus, COVID-19, Jacinda Ardern, election, New Zealand
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