Hon Ron Mark
NZ First MP & Minister of Defence
Ron Mark was born in Masterton and was raised as a ward of the state. He grew up in a number of foster homes in Napier and the Wairarapa. At 16 he went into the New Zealand Army’s Regular Force Cadet School, Waiouru, graduating in 1971 as a soldier mechanic and in 1978 was accepted for Officer Cadet Training and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant.
In 1982, as a mechanical engineering officer, he successfully completed the NZSAS selection course and was one of five New Zealand Army officers deployed to help set up the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping operation in the Sinai desert. For five years he served in the Sultan of Oman’s Defence Forces finishing as a Major.
Ron was elected to Parliament in 1996 as a New Zealand First List MP and has held a range of portfolios including spokesman for New Zealand First on Defence, Law and Order, Corrections, Police, Mental Health, Veteran’s Affairs, and Disarmament and Arms Control. In 2010 Ron was elected Mayor of Carterton and was re-elected in 2013.