New Queenstown councillor Melissa White, pictured with her children, Lucia, 7, and Mateo Karlsson, 3, and mayor Glyn Lewers, was officially sworn in to the council at its meeting in Wānaka on June 1.

White won the recent Arrowtown-Kawarau ward by-election with 771 votes, ahead of sole challenger John Glover (745), taking the seat left vacant by Neeta Shetty, who was elected in October and stood down, with immediate effect, on February 1.

She tells Mountain Scene while she’s entered council at a busy time, she’s feeling positive about the challenges ahead.

‘‘It has been and will be a big learning curve, and there’s a lot to get up to speed on.

‘‘But both councillors and council staff have been working really hard to make sure that happens.

‘‘There’s a lot of work behind the scenes to help me get up to speed.’’

She says her primary initial focus is ensuring there’s good representation for Lake Hayes Estate, where she lives, and Shotover Country, given that’s not been the case for a long time.

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