Proud of fin­ished projects

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS - By JO MCKEN­ZIE-MCLEAN

Dun­can Butcher’s num­ber-one job these days is be­ing a gran­dad, and it’s with his grand­chil­dren, and other fam­ily mem­bers, he plans to cel­e­brate his re­cent Queen’s Birth­day hon­our.

The re­tired Cromwell man, who is cur­rently babysit­ting his grand­chil­dren for five weeks in Auck­land, said he will have a fam­ily din­ner in the North Is­land to cel­e­brate be­ing made an of­fi­cer of the New Zealand Or­der of Merit (ONZM) for his ser­vices to lo­cal govern­ment and the com­mu­nity.

Now fully re­tired, his 33 years of lo­cal body pol­i­tics is never far from his mind.

Butcher moved to Cromwell to work as an elec­tri­cal over­seer for the Min­istry of Works af­ter sev­eral years work­ing over­seas. In 1980 he was elected to the Cromwell Bor­ough Coun­cil and three years later he be­came deputy mayor, be­fore be­com­ing mayor three years later in 1986.

In 1989, the Cromwell bor­ough was dis­es­tab­lished and the Cen­tral Otago District Coun­cil was formed, with Butcher be­com­ing deputy mayor of the district. That same year he also be­came a coun­cil­lor on the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil.

How­ever, his dual roles were short-lived, when in 1991 the rules were changed mean­ing he was not al­lowed to be a district coun­cil­lor and a re­gional coun­cil­lor at the same time. He chose the re­gional coun­cil, and had been a re­gional coun­cil­lor since his re­tire­ment last Oc­to­ber.

‘‘It wasn’t a hard de­ci­sion (to be on the re­gional coun­cil). I felt I could con­trib­ute bet­ter to the re­gional coun­cil than the district coun­cil and by that time, most of the things in Cromwell had been sorted out,’’ he told the Mir­ror on his re­tire­ment.

His 24 years on the Otago Re­gional Coun­cil, leading pol­icy de­vel­op­ment for the re­gion es­pe­cially re­lat­ing to wa­ter qual­ity and quan­tity, stood out as a high­light, he said.

‘‘To see some­thing come through and ac­tu­ally be help­ing with the so­cial and eco­nomic well­be­ing of Otago is grat­i­fy­ing.’’

One of his key achieve­ments was ne­go­ti­at­ing with the Crown for the fu­ture of Cromwell, be­cause of the need to de­velop a new town cen­tre be­cause of work on the Clyde dam.

He rep­re­sented Otago on the Lo­cal Govern­ment New Zealand Re­gional Sec­tor Group. He was chair­man of the Cromwell Com­mu­nity Board and chaired the Cen­tral Otago Lakes Trust from 2006 to 2010. He was trustee of the Otago Gold­fields Her­itage Trust and was on the New Zealand Her­itage Trails Trust. He has been a Otago Com­mu­nity Trust mem­ber and was on the Port Otago de­vel­op­ment li­ai­son com­mit­tee.

He also re­garded his ser­vices on var­i­ous trusts over the years grat­i­fy­ing, he said.

‘‘You think about de­ci­sions you have made and it’s bril­liant. I can drive around Cen­tral Otago and Otago and look at things I have been in­volved in and see them evolve into fin­ished projects.’’

Butcher said he felt ‘‘very proud’’ to have re­ceived the hon­our.

‘‘It’s sort of one of those things I guess you don’t re­ally ex­pect but when it does come along it’s very nice.’’

Photo: EMMADAWE. 628269572

Hon­oured: Dun­can ButcherONZM­likes see­ing the fin­ished projects he has con­trib­uted to in Cen­tral Otago.

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