TVNZ's election leaders debate dates and coverage team for September's vote revealed

TVNZ has unveiled its upcoming coverage plans for the 2017 General Election, including dates for debates, the coverage team and moderator for the debates.

Bill English and Jacinda Ardern. Source: 1 NEWS

Leading up to the September 23 election, TVNZ will host three leaders debates live on TVNZ1 as well as a newly introduced Young Voters Debate which will be streamed on 1 NEWS NOW.

The Young Voters Debate will focus on youth issues specifically.

The move is part of a wider ploy by the new Labour leader to target the youth vote. Source: 1 NEWS

Newstalk ZB and Seven Sharp host Mike Hosking will be the moderator for the three televised leaders debates while Breakfast host Jack Tame will lead the Young Voters Debate.

The leaders debates between National Party's Bill English and Labour's Jacinda Ardern will take place on August 31 and September 20 at 7pm.

A multi-party debate on September 8 will bring together the potential coalition partners of the major parties, while the young voters debate will take place on September 14.

"It's shaping up to be a very exciting election," says John Gillespie, TVNZ’s Head of News and Current Affairs.

"We've got a strong mix of content and people across our platforms to scrutinise the issues and inform New Zealanders."

On election night, a panel featuring Hosking with Breakfast's Hilary Barry, 1 NEWS at Six's Simon Dallow and Wendy Petrie, 1 NEWS political editor Corin Dann and Sunday's Jehan Casinader will go live to reporters and party bases around the country for analysis as results come in.

TVNZ's VOTE 17 Coverage

Leaders Debates, 7pm, TVNZ1

Thursday 31 August
Friday 8 September
Wednesday 20 September

Young Voters Debate, 7:30pm, livestreamed on 1 NEWS NOW

The PM was unconcerned about the potential leak of his private text messages to the New Zealand First leader. Source: 1 NEWS

Thursday 14 September