TVNZ announces new general election debate schedule

With Covid putting its sticky fingers of influence on most events this year, the general election was not spared. TVNZ has announced the new schedule for election coverage.

With the 2020 General Election shifting to 17 October, TVNZ’s Election coverage will also reflect the new date.  

Revised Debate dates: 

TVNZ’s Debate line-up and moderators remain the same, with broadcast dates shifting by a month to align with the General Election. 

  • The first live Leaders’ Debate takes place between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins on 22 September at 7pm on TVNZ 1. This will be moderated by John Campbell. 
  • The Young Voters Debate in association with the University of Auckland takes place on 28 September. This debate will be moderated by Jack Tame and streamed via 1news.co.nz and 1 NEWS social channels. 
  • The Multi-Party Debate will take place on 8 October at 7pm on TVNZ 1. This Debate will be moderated by Jessica Mutch McKay 
  • The final Leaders’ Debate airs on 15 October at 7pm on TVNZ 1. This Debate will also be moderated by Jessica Mutch McKay. 

Election night coverage and additional programming: 

There is no change to TVNZ’s 1 NEWS Vote 20 Election Night Special. This will be hosted in studio by John Campbell, Hilary Barry and Simon Dallow, with the 1 NEWS political team led by Jessica Mutch McKay crossing live from party bases.  

Supporting programming from 1 NEWS, Te Karere, Q+A, Marae, Tagata Pasifika, Sunday and Re: also remains unchanged. 

As advised, Debates and Election night coverage on TVNZ 1 will carry closed captions provided by TVNZ’s accessibility partner, Able. In partnership with Deaf Aotearoa’s iSign interpreting service, a New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreted version of the three televised debates will be broadcast live on Kordia channel 200. 

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