Ron Mark

Last updated

Ron Mark

Ron Mark, 2018.jpg
40th Minister of Defence
Assumed office
26 October 2017
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
Preceded by Mark Mitchell
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for New Zealand First list
Assumed office
20 September 2014
In office
12 October 1996 8 November 2008
Mayor of Carterton District
In office
9 October 2010 September 2014
Preceded byGary McPhee
Succeeded byJohn Booth
Personal details
Born (1954-01-29) 29 January 1954 (age 65)
Masterton, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealand
Political party Labour (19901993)
New Zealand First (1996present)
Spouse(s)Gail Mark (separated)
OccupationBusiness owner/operator
AwardsNew Zealand Operational Service Medal
New Zealand General Service Medal (Sinai)
New Zealand Defence Service Medal
Multinational Service Medal and Bar
Order of the Special Royal Emblem for expatriate officers
The Oman Peace Medal
The Glorious Fifteenth National Day Medal
Military service
AllegianceNew Zealand
Branch/service New Zealand Army

Ron Stanley Mark (born 29 January 1954) is a New Zealand politician of the New Zealand First party, and former soldier, who since October 2017 has served as Minister of Defence. He served as mayor of Carterton from 2010 to 2014.

New Zealand First, commonly abbreviated to NZ First, is a nationalist and populist political party in New Zealand. It was founded in July 1993, following the resignation on 19 March 1993 of its leader and founder, Winston Peters, from the then-governing National Party. It has formed governments with both major parties in New Zealand, first with the National Party from 1996 to 1998 and then with the Labour Party from 2005 to 2008 and from 2017 to present.

Minister of Defence (New Zealand) minister in the government of New Zealand

The Minister of Defence is a minister in the government of New Zealand with responsibility for the New Zealand armed forces and the Ministry of Defence.

Carterton, New Zealand Minor urban area in Wellington, New Zealand

Carterton is a small town in the Wellington Region of New Zealand and the seat of the Carterton District. It lies in a farming area of the Wairarapa in New Zealand's North Island. It is located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) southwest of Masterton and 80 kilometres (50 mi) northeast of Wellington. The town has a population of 5,320, out of a total district population of 9,340.


Early life and family

Mark was born in Masterton on 29 January 1954, the son of Apiti Stanley Maaka and Te Aroha Maaka (née Grace). [1] He was educated at Tararua College from 1968 to 1970. Mark was married to Gail Ann Berry, and the couple had four children. [1]

Masterton Territorial authority in Wellington, New Zealand

Masterton is a large town in the Wellington Region of New Zealand and the seat of the Masterton District. It is the largest town in the Wairarapa, a region separated from Wellington by the Rimutaka ranges. It is 100 kilometres north-east of Wellington, 39.4 kilometres south of Eketahuna, on the Ruamahanga River.

Tararua College is a secondary school in Pahiatua, New Zealand, with approximately 407 students.

Mark pursued a military career between 1971 and 1990. [1] Mark initially served in the New Zealand Army. His first unit was the Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers before moving to 2/1 Battalion, 3 and 10 Tpt Regiments and Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles before passing New Zealand Special Air Service selection. [2] Mark served a 13-month tour of duty in the Sinai with the Multinational Force and Observers in 1982–83. After being refused entry into the NZSAS, he was contraced to the Sultanate of Oman as a technical staff officer from 1985 to 1986, and then joined the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces becoming an electrical and mechanical engineering officer in the Sultan's Special Force Electrical and Mechanical Engineers between 1986 and 1990. [1] [3]

New Zealand Army Land component of the New Zealand Defence Force

The New Zealand Army is the land component of the New Zealand Defence Force and comprises around 4,500 Regular Force personnel, 2,000 Territorial Force personnel and 500 civilians. Formerly the New Zealand Military Forces, the current name was adopted by the New Zealand Army Act 1950. The New Zealand Army traces its history from settler militia raised in 1845.

Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers

The Royal New Zealand Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RNZEME) was a New Zealand Army Corps comprising Army trained tradesmen (craftsmen) who repaired Army equipment wherever New Zealand Forces served.

Queen Alexandras Mounted Rifles

Queen Alexandra's Mounted Rifles (QAMR) is an armoured regiment of the New Zealand Army and forms part of the Royal New Zealand Armoured Corps. The Regiment was formed in 1864 and is currently an armoured cavalry unit equipped with NZLAV.

Between 1990 and 1996, Mark was a commercial consultant, ran an import and export business, and was an amusement park operator. [1]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
1996 1999 45th List11 NZ First
1999 2002 46th List4 NZ First
2002 2005 47th List4 NZ First
2005 2008 48th List4 NZ First
2014 2017 51st List9 NZ First
2017 present 52nd List2 NZ First

In the 1993 election he was the Labour candidate for the Selwyn electorate. He was later involved in the discussions about the formation of the New Zealand Democratic Coalition. When these failed, he joined New Zealand First.

1993 New Zealand general election

The 1993 New Zealand general election was held on 6 November 1993 to determine the composition of the 44th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the governing National Party, led by Jim Bolger, win a second term in office, despite a major swing away from National in both seats and votes. The opposition Labour Party, despite a slight drop in their support, managed to make gains in terms of seats. The new Alliance and New Zealand First parties gained significant shares of the vote, but won few seats. The election was New Zealand's last under the non-proportional first past the post electoral system.

The New Zealand Labour Party, or simply Labour, is a centre-left political party in New Zealand. The party's platform programme describes its founding principle as democratic socialism, while observers describe Labour as social-democratic and pragmatic in practice. It is a participant of the international Progressive Alliance.

Selwyn (New Zealand electorate) Current New Zealand electorate

Selwyn is a current electorate in the New Zealand House of Representatives, composed of towns on the outskirts of Christchurch city. The electorate was first formed for the 1866 election and has been abolished three times during its history. It was last re-established for the 2008 election and has since been held by Amy Adams for the National Party.

He was a list MP from the 1996 election until his party's failure to retain any seats in the 2008 election. During the (1996–98) coalition between New Zealand First and the National Party, he was the government's Senior Whip.

A list MP is a member of parliament (MP) who is elected from a party list rather than from a geographical constituency. Their presence in Parliament is owed to the number of votes that their party won, not to votes received by the MP personally. This occurs only in countries which have an electoral system based on party-list proportional representation.

1996 New Zealand general election

The 1996 New Zealand general election was held on 12 October 1996 to determine the composition of the 45th New Zealand Parliament. It was notable for being the first election to be held under the new mixed-member proportional (MMP) electoral system, and produced a parliament considerably more diverse than previous elections. It saw the National Party, led by Jim Bolger, retain its position in government, but only after protracted negotiations with the smaller New Zealand First party to form a coalition. New Zealand First's position as "kingmaker", able to place either of the two major parties into government, was a significant election outcome.

2008 New Zealand general election election

The 2008 New Zealand general election was held on 8 November 2008 to determine the composition of the 49th New Zealand parliament. The conservative National Party, headed by its parliamentary leader John Key, won the largest share of votes and seats, ending nine years of government by the social-democratic Labour Party, led by Helen Clark. Key announced a week later that he would lead a National minority government with confidence-and-supply support from the ACT, United Future and Māori parties. The Governor-General swore Key in as New Zealand's 38th Prime Minister on 19 November 2008. This marked an end to nine years of Labour Party government, and the beginning of the Fifth National Government which governed for the next nine years, until its loss to the Labour Party in the 2017 general election.


The New Zealand television channel TV3 was banned for three days from filming in Parliament in August 2006 for showing Mark repeatedly giving the finger to another MP. [4]

In 2009, Mark told media that while he still had a subscription with New Zealand First, he was "not active", and that he would not rule out standing for Parliament with another party. [5]

Mayor of Carterton

In 2010, Mark was elected Mayor of Carterton in the Wairarapa. He succeeded outspoken mayor Gary McPhee who retired after two terms. [6] In the 2013 local elections, Mark was returned as mayor unopposed. [7]

Return to parliament

Mark stood as a New Zealand First candidate at the 2014 general election, finishing third in the Wairarapa electorate. [8] However, his ninth placing on the New Zealand First list saw him returned to Parliament, and he resigned as Mayor of Carterton, and was replaced by John Booth. [8]

On 3 July 2015, he replaced Tracey Martin as deputy leader of New Zealand First. [9] Following the 2017 election, Mark was appointed Minister of Defence and Veterans following the formation of a coalition government consisting of the Labour Party, New Zealand First, and the Green Party. [10] Mark was succeeded as New Zealand First deputy leader by Fletcher Tabuteau on 27 February 2018. [11]

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Taylor, Alister, ed. (2001). New Zealand Who's Who Aotearoa 2001. Auckland: Alister Taylor Publishers. pp. 577–578. ISSN   1172-9813.
  4. "TV3 punished for showing finger gesture". The New Zealand Herald . 28 August 2006. Retrieved 12 December 2011.
  5. "Ron Mark turns back on NZ First". The New Zealand Herald . 16 July 2009. Retrieved 17 July 2009.
  6. Katterns, Tanya (11 October 2010). "Carterton mayor off with a bang". . Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  7. "2013 Local Government Elections Nominations". Carterton District Council. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
  8. 1 2 Harris, Caleb (21 September 2014). "Bittersweet return for Mark". Dominion Post. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  9. Jones, Nicholas (3 July 2015). "Ron Mark new NZ First deputy leader". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 3 July 2015.
  10. "Ministerial List". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet . Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  11. Moir, Jo (27 February 2018). "NZ First appoints Fletcher Tabuteau as its new deputy leader - rolling Ron Mark". Retrieved 27 February 2018.
Political offices
Preceded by
Mark Mitchell
Minister of Defence
Party political offices
Preceded by
Tracey Martin
Deputy leader of New Zealand First
Succeeded by
Fletcher Tabuteau