Four-year term: Government dampening expectations election cycle referendum will happen

The Government's dampening expectations that a four-year general election cycle could go to referendum this term.

Documents obtained by Newshub show the Justice Minister has received advice about four-year terms, and has even met with the Electoral Commission about the idea.

"I'm ok about it but I haven't had a massive debate about it and I'm not sure New Zealanders necessarily want that," Kris Faafoi says.

But some do. A Research New Zealand survey of 1000 people, found 61 percent were in favour.

MPs Newshub spoke to were also in favour of having a conversation.

National's Matt Doocey says "a four-year term is the right way to go" while Labour's Kelvin Davies says "I think any Government regardless of its stripes needs more time to implement their agenda".

Progress this term isn't looking good.

"I think that's unlikely, I think we need to have a good conversation about that," Faafoi says.

Political commentator Bryce Edwards believes if it went to referendum, it wouldn't pass.

"It seems like the Government isn't going ahead with the four-year term and I think that's really wise on Labour's part. Really this Government is rolling forward with so many reforms and struggling with some of them," he says.

New Zealand already had two failed attempts at extending the term, one in 1967, the other in 1990.

New Zealand's one of only nine countries to hold an election every three years. The US and Canada have one every four, the UK every five years.