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Waitaki District Council: A voice for all of provincial NZ

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Waitaki Mayor elected as LGNZ National Council Provincial Sector Chair and Representative

Mayor for Waitaki, Gary Kircher, is set to be a voice, not just for the district, but also for

Otago, Southland, and all of provincial New Zealand after being elected into two positions

within Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ).

Nominated as LGNZ Rep for zone 6 (Otago and Southland) and Chair of the Provincial

Councils Sector, Mayor Kircher sucessfully ran unopposed for both roles. Sector

representatives are elected every three years with the term reflecting the local body

elections triennium. Both appointments take effect immediately.

The LGNZ National Council is the elected leadership of LGNZ, made up of 18 elected

members from throughout New Zealand who represent the membership of 61 territorial, 11

regional, and 6 unitary councils; and 21 Local Boards of Auckland. Mayor Kircher will meet

as a representative of the National Council six times per year.

Representing the national interests of councils in New Zealand and leading best practice in

the local government sector, LGNZ provide advocacy and policy services, business support,

advice and training to assist members to build successful communities throughout New

Zealand.

Waitaki Mayor’s appointment means regional voice, enable him to champion the causes of

the district in parliament. Rep for zone 6 and chair of the provincial sector, the main benefit

is the option to put forward issues and opportunities that exist in the south to central

government.

Mayor Kircher said, "I am privileged to speak for the lower South Island and to voice

provincial concerns. It will mean we are better able to bend the ear of politicians and allow

us to get our issues on the table at national level, championing social, environmental,

economic, and cultural issues that negatively affect our communities every day."

"The Waitaki District continues to progress and I’m proud of the lateral thinking and

progressive ideas which are helping to take Waitaki forward, but we also share the

challenges of provincial New Zealand around population and affordability, access to services

and increasing central government requirements. Councils provide a lot of critical services

to our communities, and my aim is to have a stronger, more respectful relationship with

central government, which can only benefit the communities of Waitaki and our southern

neighbours. It is time to step up and be heard."

Each council across New Zealand is a member of one of four sector groups represented

within the National Council, including metropolitan, regional, rural and provincial. Waitaki

District Council sits within the provincial sector and meets with the rural sector three times

per year, seeing an attendance of up to 100 members. Mayor Kircher will share chairing

these meetings with the Chair of the Rural Sector, Mayor Alex Walker of Central Hawkes Bay

District. The first meeting will take place Thursday 21 and Friday 22 November in

Wellington.

Re-elected in October 2019’s Local Body elections, Mayor Kircher is currently sitting his third

term as Mayor for Waitaki.

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