Jill White was elected Mayor of Palmerston North in 1998. She was the first woman to hold the position. She also served as a Palmerston North City Councillor from 1983 - 1992, as a Manawatū-Whanganui Regional Councillor (now Horizons) from 1989 - 1994 and as a Member of Parliament 1993 - 1998. Jill was again elected as a Horizons Regional Councillor in 2007 until 2013 when she chose not to seek re-election.
In 2007, Jill also completed her Masters thesis entitled "An uneasy relationship: Palmerston North City and the Manawatū River 1941 - 2006". The thesis is held in the Palmerston North City Library's lending collection.