A while back I compared the governments actions to actions typical of dictatorial regimes. And that caused a bit of a fuss, at the time.
But it occurred to me that the present government has committed some significant time and effort into attacking what it sees as competition, specifically, local government.
National and its coalition partners have and continue to actively interfered in local government in our two major centres, are implementing changes to the Resource Management Act, have acted to undermine the Local Government Act and confidence in local government (halted only by Nick Smith's last fall from grace) and have fostered discussions around reform of local government that would make the reorganisation of Auckland look like a good thing for democracy.
The unicameral parliament we have, with weak oversight by the governor-general, and the terrible Speaker we currently have in Parliament are tempered only by MMP (no wonder we voted to retain it) and local government.
It is my opinion that we need stronger and more democratic local government, to balance the power of central government and to keep local decision-making, well, local.
The National government are not dictatorial; they have a majority (of one) in parliament and were democratically elected. However, they are, in my opinion, acting in a way the dictators act, and in the long term this benefits only a very few people. And that's just wrong.
Neil Young - Rust Never Sleeps, 1979