And while we're on the subject of local democracy, the government appears to be threatening Auckland if they vote for the "wrong" mayoral candidate:
[Bill English] also sent a coded signal he was concerned about the impact of the Auckland local body elections, and the possibility former Labour leader Phil Goff would win the mayoralty.
"It is my hope that election year in Auckland won't affect the positive relationship between central government and Auckland city, developed in recent years."
This simply isn't acceptable. Who Auckland elects is a decision for Aucklanders, and central government shouldn't be using threats to try and alter the result. And if I lived in Auckland, I'd be voting for Goff, just to give the finger to English.