NZ Election 2020: 'Web gremlin' infects Labour site, raises fears of another election delay

A "web gremlin" which infected the Labour Party website on Tuesday sparked fears the election was about to be delayed again. 

The party's countdown clock briefly said there were 60 days and 11 hours to go until election day, instead of 24 days.

The mistake was spotted by ACT Party deputy leader Brooke van Velden and confirmed as real by Newshub.

"What does Labour know that we don't?" she tweeted with a screenshot.

The election's already been put back once. It was due to be held on September 19, but pushed back to October 17 when Auckland plunged back into alert level 3 lockdown in mid-August. The delay was called for by the Opposition, fearing they wouldn't have a chance to campaign effectively. 

"Don't even kid about it," replied outgoing National Party veteran MP Paula Bennett. 

Labour told Newshub it was just a bug.

"A wee web gremlin caused us all a bit of excitement earlier by introducing the prospect of another month or so of campaigning," campaign manager Hayden Munro said in an email.

"I'm glad to confirm that the team here - and our web countdown - are all squarely focused on October 17th, re-electing Jacinda Ardern as Prime Minister, and continuing our plan to keep New Zealand moving."

One Twitter user accused Van Velden of faking the image using browser dev tools.

"I simply went to the website, but thanks for thinking I’d know how to do that," she replied.

The election remains scheduled for October 17, but voting starts on October 3.