Voters head to the polls. (Photo: Getty)

Election 2020 calendar: all the key dates and debates – updated for October 17 polling day!

When does advance voting open, when do the results get announced, and when are the TV debates? The essential election calendar.

This post has been updated to reflect the decision to delay the election, which now be on October 17, and its knock-on impacts. It will continue to be updated through the course of the campaign. If there’s an event you think needs adding, email us on with Election calendar in the subject field.

To read our bumper Q&A on the cannabis legalisation referendum see here, on the assisted dying referendum, see here. For all The Spinoff’s Election 2020 coverage go here.

Saturday August 8

Labour Party campaign launch, 12.30pm, Auckland Town Hall.

Wednesday August 12

Policy launches on The Spinoff.

Dissolution of parliamentDeferred 

Sunday August 16

Writ Day: the campaign is officially begun by order of the governor general. Deferred

National Party campaign launch, Manukau. Postponed

Monday August 17

Jacinda Ardern announces election day will be delayed until October 17.

Tuesday August 18

Parliament resumes.

Wednesday August 26

Politics in Pubs (Spinoff/Verb Wellington): Morgan Godfery and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer on Māori politics.

Saturday August 29

My Voice Matters 2020, disability issues forum, online only.

Thursday September 3

Parliament likely to rise.

Sunday September 6

Parliament dissolves.

Monday September 7

Earliest date for the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Update briefing to be issued. The Prefu must be published between 20 and 30 working days before the general election, so some time between between September 7 and 21.

Sunday September 13

Writ day – the governor-general issues the writ for the election to be held.

Thursday September 17

Noon: Deadline for parties to submit bulk candidate nominations and party lists to the Electoral Commission.

Friday September 18

Noon: Deadline for individual electorate candidate nominations to returning officers.

Saturday September 19

Original election day, but no longer the election day (see October 17).

Newshub Nation Northland debate, 9.30am.

Tuesday September 22

TVNZ leaders’ debate with Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins, moderated by John Campbell, TVNZ1, 7pm.

ASB/Newshub finance debate, Queenstown, 7pm.

Thursday September 24

Shaping the future of the arts, culture and creative sector – an election debate (supported by The Spinoff), Auckland, 6pm. (Rescheduled from August 20)

Monday September 28

Young Voters Debate in association with Auckland University, live streamed by, Auckland, 7.30pm.

Wednesday September 30

Overseas voting begins.

Newshub leaders’ debate with Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins, hosted by Patrick Gower, 7.30pm.

Saturday October 3

Advance voting begins.

Newshub Nation multi-party leaders’ debate with the Marama Davidson (Greens), Act (David Seymour) and John Tamihere (Māori Party).

Tuesday October 6

Press leaders’ debate with Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins, Christchurch, streamed on Stuff.

Wednesday October 7

Newshub Cannabis debate, moderated by Patrick Gower, 8.30pm.

Thursday October 8

TVNZ multi-party debate, moderated by Jessica Mutch McKay, TVNZ1, 7pm.

Wednesday October 14

Newshub euthanasia debate , moderated by Patrick Gower, 8.30pm.

Thursday October 15

TVNZ leaders’ debate with Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins, moderated by Jessica Mutch McKay, TVNZ1, 7pm.

Saturday October 17

Election day. Preliminary results released from 7pm.

Friday October 30

Preliminary referendum results released.

Friday November 6

Official results declared for the election and both referendums.

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