New Zealand delays election after return of COVID-19

“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,” Ardern said.

The centre-left leader came under pressure to change the date after all parties suspended campaigning in the wake of last week’s outbreak, the source of which remains unknown.

Ardern acknowledged there was widespread anxiety in the community over the virus’s return, which was first detected in four family members in Auckland last Tuesday.

By Sunday, the Auckland cluster had grown to 49 confirmed cases and Ardern said she spent the weekend consulting with party leaders and the Electoral Commission over the vote’s date.