The national elections in New Zealand were scheduled to be held in the month of September. But, they have been postponed by 4 weeks. According to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the coronavirus cases in New Zealand have been increasing. Even Auckland has shown an increase in the number, and because of that, a strict lockdown has been imposed in the cities. All this will make things difficult for the campaign. Hence the elections have been shifted to 17th October 2020. Ardern said that she has consulted with the other party members to decide on delaying the election.
Even after the lockdown, the cases are increasing, and the safety of the voters is a concern. The government stated that they want to conduct a well-run election giving all voters the opportunity to vote their ballots. They even want them to understand more about the parties and candidates who are standing for the election and what they want to provide in the future. In case the cases continue to rise till the newly scheduled time, the election will still be conducted, and the date will not be changed again.
COVID is said to be the new normal, and now actions should be taken considering how the pandemic will not interrupt our lives. New arrangements are made to conduct the elections on the new date. The commission has to stay prepared to conduct the elections even if alert level 2 lockdown is announced. Measures such as contact tracing, physical distancing, sanitization of the arena, and providing sanitizers are taken care of to ensure maximum safety. All politicians have welcomed this move. New Zealand was under strict lockdown from 25th March. A five-week lockdown was imposed. All schools and colleges were closed, businesses were shut down, and people stayed at home and did not leave until needed. After this strict lockdown, on 9th June, everything went back to normal as they returned to level 1.
The borderlines were still under control, and everything was fine until last week. 20 active cases were found by overseas travel, and they are put under 14-day quarantine now. Around 58 cases were found due to a community cluster. Things are brought back to control, with 100,000 tests taking place in the last week itself. The mystery of the outbreak is still unknown, and the authorities are still solving to find the origin. New Zealand is the only country that went back to normal after successfully defeating COVID-19. Around 1280 cases were confirmed, and 22 deaths occurred, but New Zealand still has this zeal to tight the pandemic.