Thames-Coromandel mayor Sandra Goudie will not be standing for the role in the next local election.
"I've done 36 years in public office and I'm keen to retire," Goudie told the Bay of Plenty Times.
The mayor controversially refused to get the Covid-19 vaccine, Pfizer, last year, saying she would wait for the for Novavax injections instead.
However, when the one million doses arrived in the country earlier this year, Goudie would not get one.
Goudie, a former National Party MP for Coromandel, said out of all of her years in public office, local government had been "the best" with her favourite moments being out in the public helping people.
The mayor of six years said tough times were part of the job and it was something she needed to get on with.
"Taking the good with the bad, it's been fantastic. I've loved every minute of it."
Goudie said she wanted to be remembered as someone who was "prepared to pitch in, prepared to help and always being honest in everything I do".
She will join her husband, who had been a "fantastic" support for her over the years in retirement. They plan to spend their time with family and by the sea in the Coromandel.
"This is our time," Goudie said.
Goudie has publically declared her unvaccinated status and her opposition to vaccine mandates.
She continually cited personal choice and freedom.
"It's getting to the point when you wonder whether you're going to start having to wear a star on the front of your clothing," she told Tim Beveridge on Newstalk ZB in October last year.
Last year, a code of conduct complaint was laid about her Covid-19 vaccination views.
It was withdrawn this year by Barrister and Thames Coromandel District Council Southeast ward councillor Gary Gotlieb, claiming the code is not fit for purpose.