Media & news Te hunga pāpāho me ngā rongo kōrero

Back to all media & news

Writ day election milestone

Sept 13, 2020 | Media release

Today is writ day, a milestone on the election calendar when the formal writ is issued for the 2020 General Election to be held.

The Governor-General, Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, signed the writ at Government House today directing the Electoral Commission to conduct the General Election on Saturday 17 October 2020. Advance voting starts in New Zealand on Saturday 3 October.

“The issue of the writ is a key constitutional step in the election process. It sets out the dates for candidate nominations to close, election day, and the date the writ must be returned showing the successful electoral candidates,” says Chief Electoral Officer, Alicia Wright.

Under the Electoral Act, the writ must be issued within seven days of the dissolution of Parliament, which took place on Sunday 6 September.

The Electoral Commission must return the writ with the names of the successful electorate candidates to the Clerk of the House of Representatives within 60 days of its issue, by Thursday 12 November, if no application for a recount is received.

Candidate nominations close at:

  • Noon Thursday 17 September - the deadline for registered parties to bulk nominate their electorate candidates and supply their party lists to the Electoral Commission.
  • Noon Friday 18 September - the deadline for individual nominations of electorate candidates to returning officers in electorates.

A full list of parties and candidates is expected to be publicly available from by 2pm, Saturday 19 September.

Other key events triggered by the issuing of the writ are:

  • The electoral rolls close for printing, and all voters enrolled after this date cast special declaration votes.
  • Candidate and party television and radio advertising may start.


The Chief Electoral Officer, Alicia Wright, with The Governor-General, Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy, at Government House for the signing of the writ.

Back to top