NZ Election 2020: Jacinda Ardern responds to fears politicians could become COVID-19 'super-spreaders' during campaign

Election campaigns are usually characterised by mass gatherings in town halls, handshakes with constituents and widespread travel - but the Prime Minister says electioneering may have to look a little different this time around.

Jacinda Ardern is urging fellow politicians to apply the same health precautions as other Kiwis while campaigning, amid fears they could become 'super-spreaders' of COVID-19.

Ardern, who is looking to clinch a second term as Prime Minister in next month's election, told media at a press conference from the Beehive on Friday that MPs would need to play by the rules set by the Government.

"We have to apply those same [COVID-19] precautions that we ask of other people," she said.

In Auckland, these precautions include the wearing of face coverings while campaigning, keeping to gatherings of 10 or less people and applying physical distancing.

Ardern says she's been very careful not to breach the guidelines.

"Of course, whilst I've been based in Wellington I have moved in and out, and when I'm in Auckland you'll see that I exercise as much caution as I can - face mask use, social distancing and so on," she said.

Last month, following the first new cases of community transmission in more than 100 days, rival politicians urged Ardern to delay the election, citing fears the outbreak would give her an unfair advantage and stymie their own campaigns.

National leader Judith Collins at that time said that with just over a month to go, it was "simply unsustainable to expect there to be a fair and just election" at a time when people have no certainty they can cast their vote. 

"It is five, six weeks out from an election date; it is only a matter of a few weeks before an election. In a country which has one of the oldest democracies in the world, New Zealanders deserve better than to wonder whether or not they can even vote on election day."

After a few days' consideration, Ardern announced that for just the fourth time in the country's history, New Zealand would postpone the general election until October 17.

"I have thought about every single element of this," Ardern said. "I think New Zealanders deserve to have certainty and a balanced decision, which I think this is."