Third Party handbook for the 2020 General Election

This year introduces new rules for the general election. Two referendums will also run alongside this election.


Referendums on the End of Life Choice Act 2019 and the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill will be held with the general election. There are advertising and spending limits for the referendums, similar to those for third parties at a general election. This page will help explain how the referendum rules apply to you.

Advertising and campaigning

All advertisments relating to the election in any medium will need a promoter statement.

From 1 January 2020, parties and candidates can't keep overseas donations greater than $50.

Enrolling and voting

People can enrol to vote online using their driver licence, passport or RealMe verified identity.

Voters in New Zealand will be able to enrol on election day.

Prisoners sentenced to less than 3 years imprisonment will be eligible to vote.

Counting votes and releasing results

We won't hold a preliminary count of referendum votes on election night - we'll count referendum votes after election day. We'll release a preliminary result for each referendum on Friday 30 October.

We'll process and count overseas votes in Wellington rather than in the electorates.

The period for declaring the official results and returning the writ has been extended. After we count special votes, we'll release the official results for the general election and referendums on Friday 6 November.

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