Hamish McDouall has had a 9.7 per cent pay rise with the Whanganui mayoral salary topping $120,000 in the latest pay rises for councillors.
McDouall will get a salary of $122,870 for 2018/19 up from $112,014 the previous year.
Set by the Remuneration Authority, salaries also increased for councillors, with the base rate increasing 3.4 per cent to $33,531.
Deputy mayor Jenny Duncan's salary has increased by about the same rate to $43,492.
Committee chairs Alan Taylor and Helen Craig get $39,718, up from $38,402 though the chair of the Strategy and Finance Committee Kate Joblin gets slightly more at $43,492 up from $42,051.
Deputy chairs of committees get $35,108, slightly more than the base councillor rate.
McDouall said the pay rates were set independently. "I certainly didn't submit that I needed more."
But he was happy for councillors to get an increase and believed they were "worth every penny" because they were "working hard for the district".
"I see that first hand," McDouall said.
"I'm glad the Remuneration Authority is starting to recognise that work councillors do.
"It's not just based on population as well, it's based on assets we have under our control and a variety of other things."
Whanganui Rural Community Board chairman David Matthews has also had a slight pay increase to $11,004, up from $10,841 while members get $5502, up from $5421.
Meanwhile, in the Rangitikei District, mayor Andy Watson's salary has been bumped up 6 per cent to $91,447 with councillors getting a 1.7 per cent increase to $20,636.
Horizons Regional Council chairman Bruce Gordon has had an 8.5 per cent increase to $135,054 while the councillor base rate is now $47,065, up 1.5 per cent.
Last month Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a freeze on the salaries of MPs while a review of the pay-setting system is carried out.