The Upper Hutt mayor and city councillors have turned down a pay rise this year.
The Remuneration Authority, which sets the pay of those in public office, recommended a 5.5% increase to the mayor's salary and a rise of 1.5% for councillors pay.
The salary of mayor Wayne Guppy would have increased from $89,000 to $94,000 and declining the increase would save the council about $8000 in total.
He said the council could not accept pay increases in a tight economic climate and has declined an annual rise for the first time.
"We're just going through a budget round where we're looking to save money an there are things that we'd like to do that we're not going to do simply because of the climate."
Mr Guppy said it was appropriate that the council show leadership by turning down the increase.