Attacks, social media sledging, harsh hoardings: When did local government elections get so nasty?
Electoral officers Warwick Lampp and Dale Ofsoske have both noticed an increase in negative campaigning in this year's battles for seats on local councils.
Ofsoske said he had mainly noticed it in Auckland, while Lampp - electoral officer for Tauranga and Rotorua - said he was seeing it all over New Zealand.
Lampp suspected candidates were trying to emulate the success of negative strategies in international political campaigns like those that elected Trump and brought about Brexit.
Tauranga-based University of Waikato political science lecturer Justin Phillips