Hot Off the Press Release: TVNZ Courts Your Vote

TVNZ’s coverage of the general election campaign will include four debates, election night coverage anchored by John Campbell, Hilary Barry and Simon Dallow, extensive polling and a dedicated sign-language Kordia channel.

Here’s the media release:

Your Vote 2020: bringing election coverage to viewers across TVNZ channels and platforms

As New Zealand gets ready to head to the ballot box this September, 1 NEWS is bringing voters comprehensive coverage and analysis of this year’s General Election.

TVNZ’s coverage will draw on the depth of experience held across the 1 NEWS team, says Graeme Muir, TVNZ’s Acting Head of News and Current Affairs.

“New Zealanders are highly engaged in politics; they care about the decisions those in power make on their behalf. In a year of global uncertainty and change, viewers want to make informed choices when casting their vote. 1 NEWS remains committed to delivering thorough, unbiased coverage across the political spectrum.”

“Our line-up includes live debates, specials and analysis of the ultimate result on Election night. From our presenters to our reporting team, 1 NEWS will have New Zealanders covered.”

Live debates:

  • The first live Leaders’ Debate takes place between Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins on 25 August at 7pm on TVNZ 1. This will be the first-time voters see the leaders of the country’s two biggest parties going head-to-head in a primetime debate.
  • The Young Voters Debate in association with Auckland University takes place on 2 September. This debate will feature candidates from a range of parties and will be live streamed via and 1 NEWS social channels.
  • The Multi-Party Debate will take place on 9 September at 7pm on TVNZ 1. This Debate will include NZ First, The Green Party and Act.
  • The final Leaders’ Debate airs on 17 September at 7pm on TVNZ 1. Featuring Jacinda Ardern and Judith Collins, this will be the last broadcast debate before New Zealanders head to voting booths on Election Day.
  • Several 1 NEWS Colmar Brunton polls will be released during this period, giving viewers insight into where voters are leaning.

John Campbell will moderate the first Leaders’ Debate and Political Editor, Jessica Mutch McKay will referee the Multi-Party Debate and second Leaders’ Debate. Jack Tame will moderate the Young Voters Debate, focusing on issues affecting Gen Z and Millennial voters. All debates will be live streamed and available for catch-up viewing on TVNZ OnDemand as well as the 1 NEWS website, Facebook and YouTube pages.

1 NEWS Vote 20 Election Night Special:

1 NEWS Election night programming will be fronted in studio by John Campbell, Hilary Barry and Simon Dallow. The 1 NEWS political team led by Jessica Mutch McKay will cross live from party bases around the country, gauging reactions and providing expert analysis as the results come in.

A range of former politicians and political pundits from across the spectrum will join the studio presentation throughout the evening. Each will bring their own unique insights and perspectives to the coverage.

1 NEWS Vote 20 Election Night Special will begin at 7pm on TVNZ 1. It will also be available on TVNZ OnDemand and the 1 NEWS website, Facebook and YouTube pages.


TVNZ is committed to increasing the accessibility of its General Election coverage for all New Zealanders to participate in. New Zealand’s deaf and hard of hearing communities will have access to 1 NEWS’ election coverage, with initiatives in place to enable all Kiwis to access information and make educated choices on Election Day.

Live captioning for debates and the 1 NEWS Vote 20 Election Night Special on TVNZ 1 will be provided by ABLE, TVNZ’s accessibility partner.

In partnership with Deaf Aotearoa’s iSign interpreting service, a New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) interpreted version of all three debates will be broadcast live on Kordia channel 200. This programme will offer Picture in Picture (PIP), with qualified and experienced interpreters shown as the primary image on screen and the party leaders appearing as a smaller image in the bottom corner. Each NZSL interpreted signed debate will be available on TVNZ OnDemand shortly after the broadcast has concluded. These debates will also be available on Deaf Aotearoa’s website, giving viewers’ choice and control over how and when they access these.

Vote Compass:

Interactive survey tool, Vote Compass is returning in the lead up to the General Election. In the 2017 Election more than 400,000 people used Vote Compass to discover which party’s policies they most aligned with. 1 NEWS has developed Vote Compass in collaboration with leading New Zealand academics and Vox Pop Labs. The voter engagement initiative is presented in partnership with the Electoral Commission and Auckland University. It will be available via the 1 NEWS website from mid- August.

Content highlights:

1 NEWS and Te Karere’s bulletins form an integral part of TVNZ’s coverage in the build up to Election Day. Marae’s pre-election coverage starts 16 August and will focus on the Māori electorates. Q+A will cover a range of policy topics in the coming weeks, including robust discussion on the economy, environment, and the End of Life Choice and Cannabis Referendums. Tagata Pasifika will also feature Election talanoa in their programmes. Topics covered to date include Pacific candidates, young Pacific voters and the Cannabis Referendum.

As the nation wakes up the morning after the Election, Tagata Pasifika, Q + A and Marae will bring viewers up to speed on the overnight developments, featuring live studio interviews with key players from across the political spectrum. From 7.30am on TVNZ 1, Tagata Pasifika will bring their viewers new updates. A two-hour Q + A special beginning at 8am will discuss the Election’s big winners and losers. Jack Tame will analyse what the next Government will look like and what moves they are likely to make. Then from 10am, Marae will focus on what the Election results mean for Māori.

Re: will also deliver important Election information in a variety of ways that resonate with their audience. Coverage includes:

  • I don’t know anything about politics: A weekly political column where a 22-year-old with minimal understanding of politics tries to work out what it all means. Zoe Madden-Smith unravels the machinations of politics and governance.
  • Explainer series: A series explaining the key issues of this election in clear written articles with supporting graphics. Topics include euthanasia, prisoner voting and the Cannabis Referendum.
  • Election video series: A series putting everyday people at the centre of this election campaign.
  • Weed Vote 2020: A video series unpacking the Cannabis Referendum from all sides of the debate.
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11 Responses to “Hot Off the Press Release: TVNZ Courts Your Vote”

  1. Great to see they aren’t using Mike Hosking this election. I can’t stand him :)

  2. Looks like they’re using all the Government-friendly people they can find. No doubt the questions will have to be pre-lodged with the Government before the show. Bring back Mike.

  3. I agree, Paul W. No matter what people might think of his political perspective or idiosyncratic manner, he’s hands-down NZ’s sharpest interviewer.

  4. YAY, Disney have announced a new international service called Star which is similar to Hulu. It’s coming in 2021 and I hope we get it in New Zealand :)

  5. @ Trevor. Looks interesting..

  6. Totally agree Paul, I’m not surprised though as this PM will require only pro-covid/woke questions as she’s never been able to answer economic ones.

  7. Yes, it sounds excellent. It will be good to have more mature shows. There is going to another shareholders meeting in which Disney will talk about it so it will be interesting to see if they mention New Zealand :)

  8. I’m not a big fan of Hosking but it always makes me laugh how when the moderator is Hosk there’s outrage, petitions served to the CEO of TVNZ asking him to be removed etc etc, but Campbell … silence!!

  9. Yes, K, in my experience the left has always been noisier than the right. And re the PM’s economic knowledge, Darren: She’s certainly going to be tested — and, along with the other contenders, hopefully scrutinised — over the next six weeks.

  10. That’s because John Campbell is fairer. Have you actually read the stupid nonsense Mike Hosking writes? You definitely would not want him on a jury :)

  11. There’s no doubt he’s kinder and gentler in his approach, Trevor. But the journalistic integrity of both is unquestionable.

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