Symes resigned for ‘family/whānau’ reasons

February 9, 2021

Ex-NZNO president Heather Symes would not elaborate on her reasons for resigning as president just two months after her election, when asked by Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand this month. She restated that it was for family/whānau reasons.

Heather Symes
Heather Symes

She announced her resignation in December. At that time, she said her personal circumstances had changed and she believed she was not able to continue in the role. “This has not been an easy decision for me, but I have made it after much discussion with my family and whānau, who have given me their support.”

It had not been an easy decision “because I have enjoyed my short time as president and the opportunity it gave me to contribute to the organisation I love and value”, she said.

Symes had appreciated being part of a strong board team that were working together in the right direction for NZNO. “Likewise, I have been impressed by how hard staff work for members and the expertise and experience they bring to their roles. You have good people working for you and I encourage you to give them your support.”

She thanked those who had supported her as president and those who had voted for her. “I am really sorry not to be carrying on in the position, but I will remain a supportive member of NZNO and will continue to make a positive contribution wherever I can.”

Her tenure as president finished on January 8. Speaking earlier this month, she said she wished both the organisation and the next president well. “I hope they enjoy it.”

Symes has returned to work at forensic mental health services at Hillmorton Hospital in Christchurch.


When Kai Tiaki Nursing New Zealand went to press, the board had made no decision on how the presidential vacancy would be filled. Tracey Morgan was elected unopposed as vice president in last year’s board elections.