After a year in the role, Rangitīkei District Council's 2019 intake of councillors have worn-in their shoes, experiencing their first full year as elected officials across the district, as well as the substantial workload that goes with it.
The six fresh councillors - Gill Duncan, Tracey Hiroa, Fiona Dalgety, Richard Lambert, Brian Carter and Waru Panapa - were elected at the triennial local body election last October. It was one of the largest intakes of new faces in the council's history.
One of the new female councillors, Taihape's Gill Duncan, won one of the three seats in the Northern Ward with the highest number of votes. After 12 months in the role, Duncan said she is sailing relatively smoothly thanks to her prior knowledge of council operations, but was surprised at just how much background work goes into the position.
"I think I had a reasonable idea what council was," Duncan said.
"It was a huge advantage me working for the library in Taihape. That gave me six years watching the mechanics of how council operates with the people.
"One thing I didn't expect was just how big the workload was. The workload is huge for any new councillor, and to do your job properly you've got to do a lot of background reading to keep up with what's going on.
"I think my first order paper that came through on a Friday was 386 pages, and that was without any table documents or background reading. I was like 'oh my god'."
Another fresh female face at the table is Tracey Hiroa, also from the Northern Ward. Hiroa scraped in by just four votes over the fourth and only unsuccessful candidate in the ward.
Hiroa, who has worked in the community for decades, said she was taken aback when entering the role.
"It's a lot more than what I expected. I thought I had a handle on things as I've been around council and its processes for a number of years, but actually until you get into it you don't realise the scope of what is involved.
"Listening, reading and taking on board what's coming from people who have been in the area for a lot longer than I have is fundamental."
Despite being the face of diversity on the council, Hiroa said she doesn't struggle with the lack of wide representation, and that the key to having a seat at the table is being vocal.
"I don't feel like I struggle with it, but if I feel there needs to be a point of view heard not only from a Māori perspective but also from the perspective of a woman, I make that heard."
Another well known face in the community but a fresh face on the council is Brian Carter, of Bulls. Carter sailed through the election process, gaining a seat at the council table by winning the most votes in the Southern Ward.
Carter, a business owner, Justice of the Peace and current Bulls fire chief, ran for a spot to tick it off his bucket list, but also to engage with the community at the same time.
"It's awesome. I really enjoy it. It's a test - a different set of skills being used than my normal day's work, but I'm finding it exciting and very rewarding.
"It was a part of my bucket list. It was something I always wanted to do. In doing it, it's actually really exciting."
Asked what the most satisfying aspect was, Carter said it was community being at the core of the job.
"If they have a problem downtown with a bump in the road or a streetlight that's not working, it's really rewarding being able to go down to who's in charge and help solve it."