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Mr Kircher is now the LGNZ representative for zone 6 (Otago and Southland) and chairman of the provincial councils sector, the Waitaki District Council confirmed in a statement yesterday.
Mr Kircher said he felt ``privileged to speak for the lower South Island and to voice provincial concerns'' and, while he was proud of the progress in the district, it still shared the challenges of provincial New Zealand, including population and affordability, access to services and increasing central government requirements.
"It [the new roles at LGNZ] 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.
"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.''