Coronavirus: General Election date should be moved - political commentator

A political commentator is calling for the 2020 General Election date to be moved so COVID-19 isn't "inhibiting" democracy.

Bryce Edwards believes there's "no reason why" the September 19 election couldn't be held later in the year so the public isn't distracted by the pandemic.

"I think it's probably irresponsible for the Government and the Electoral Commission to continue planning for that September 19 election," he said during an interview on Rebuilding Paradise with Paul Henry.

"There's absolutely no reason why the election couldn't be held in about early to mid-December. It doesn't have to be in September."

He says it's likely New Zealand will be at alert level 2 around the election period, which will be bad for public debate.

"Elections are really important, and to have distractions with this crisis going on, I think it is going to be bad for democracy, it's going to be bad for debate.

"We need to have maximum public participation in that debate, and we need campaigning on the streets, and that might not be able to happen if we still have the coronavirus inhibiting that."

Edwards added there's also a "good argument" for the election date to be moved to 2021.

Watch his full interview with Paul Henry above.