The National Party has announced a reshuffle of its backroom roles, following the sudden resignation of its party secretary.
William Durning has resigned from his post, and will be replaced by Jo de Joux, the party’s election campaign director, who will now do both jobs at once.
Party secretaries are responsible for matters relating to donations and signing off on election advertising. Durning is named as the authoriser of National election ads.
These will need to be changed after he leaves the role on April 14.
An email from party president Sylvia Wood to party members on Wednesday night said Durning said that “for family reasons he is no longer able to undertake the role”.
“Those of you who know William will know his commitment to his family and that he will always put family first.
“We acknowledge the hard work William has invested in his role and his commitment to the party.
“It is with regret that I have accepted his resignation and I wish him and his family all the best for the future.”
Wood said de Joux would have “more support” to handle doing two jobs at once.
While Durning will leave the role on April 14, de Joux will step into the secretary role “effective immediately”.
“This responsibility is a natural fit with her role as campaign director, which she will continue to hold with more support around her,” Wood said.
She also said the party would be working with the Electoral Commission on “legal requirements for this handover, particularly with regard to the party’s promoter statement” - the legal text that appears on party ads.
Wood said she had taken over Durning’s other role, as party general manager, “on a temporary baisis”.
“I will be working closely with Jo and other senior staff to put processes in place, with a view to appointing a new general manager in due course.
“In the interim, it is business as usual”.
Durning had been a party officeholder since 2019, holding the roles of deputy chair and chair of the party’s Central North Island regional organisation.
The National Party was approached for comment.