Decades dedicated to Otago
These days, Duncan Butcher's time is spent in talks with grandchildren, rather than councillors, but the 33 years he dedicated to local government is never far from his mind.
The retired Cromwell man has been made an officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit (ONZM) for his services to local government and the community.
Butcher was mayor of Cromwell Borough, Central Otago deputy mayor and chairman of the regional council. He stood down from the regional council last year.
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. To receive this at the end of a culmination of 33 years has made me feel proud."
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.
The Southland Times