Labour Party leadership candidate Grant Robertson says now is the time to have a frank and honest conversation about the future of the party.
The party's national council has set out its timeframe for the leadership contest sparked by David Cunliffe's resignation.
Nominations will close on 14 October, with votes will be cast by the caucus, party members and affiliated unions and the new leader will be in place by 18 November.
Mr Robertson and Mr Cunliffe and the only two who have publicly stated their intentions to stand so far.
Mr Robertson told Radio New Zealand's Morning Report programme the election process must be respectful and honest.
"We've got to be respectful of whoever puts themselves forward. We also have to be honest about where we're at as a party and how we improve our fortunes and deliver for people so if we can put those two things together we'll have a good process."
The party's general secretary, Tim Barnett, said an interim report on Labour's dismal election result would be made available to the party before a leader was elected.
He said in the month after nominations closed a series of hustings will be held around the country and he was expecting a renewed energy during the campaign because of a flood of new members in recent days.