The National Party board has confirmed plans to select a new candidate for the Southland electorate amid the leak scandal that has ended Hamish Walker's political career.

Walker today announced he would withdraw his candidacy for the re-named electorate of Southland and would not stand at the upcoming election.

He had confessed yesterday to being the person who provided media with the confidential details of 18 patients infected with Covid-19.

Walker announced he was quitting before learning his fate from the National Party board.

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National Party president Peter Goodfellow said the board met today via videoconference and was told Walker had resigned his candidacy for the party.

"A selection process will therefore begin almost immediately to find a new candidate for the Southland electorate, and we look forward to a robust and democratic process," Goodfellow said.

"On behalf of the National Party board of directors, I would like to apologise for any distress caused to the individuals concerned as a result of the actions of one of our Members of Parliament."

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Earlier, National leader Todd Muller said the board would meet to discuss the selection of a new candidate.

"There was a clear breach of trust, which goes against the values National holds as a party," Muller said.

The board held an urgent lunchtime meeting remotely after Muller last night wrote to it asking it to remove Walker from the party.

Muller says there needs to be consequences for the leak and his advice to Walker was to "think deeply about what the honourable next step is".

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Muller said his "personal view" was Michelle Boag should step aside from having any involvement with the party.

National Party leader Todd Muller has accepted Hamish Walker's decision to withdraw his candidacy for the seat of Southland. Photo / Mark Mitchell
National Party leader Todd Muller has accepted Hamish Walker's decision to withdraw his candidacy for the seat of Southland. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Muller said he had "no idea" what the motive was behind the pair's actions.

Boag last night said she'd made a "massive error of judgment on my part" and apologised for doing so.

Meanwhile, the party's deputy leader Nikki Kaye confirmed Boag had stood down from her roles in the Auckland Central electorate.

She held a position on the electorate committee and the campaign committee.