Born on the North Shore, Mark spent his early years living on Whenuapai Air Force Base where his father was a Flight Lieutenant. He later attended Rosmini College in Auckland and worked in the farming sector after leaving school.
In 1989, Mark joined the New Zealand Police, and was a member of the Dog Section and Armed Offender’s Squad. During his time in the Dog Section, Mark and his dog Czar were stabbed during an armed encounter in Rotorua. Czar made a full recovery, but Mark never regained the full use of his right arm.
After leaving the police, Mark relocated overseas and launched an international business career, including the start-up of his own company specialising in hostage rescue, supply chain security, and risk management. Working closely with the World Economic Forum, he helped establish logistic emergency response teams that provided humanitarian support in countries hit by natural disasters, such as the Philippines, Pakistan, and Haiti. He was also a member of the executive management team of several global companies, including one of the biggest logistics companies in the world.
Mark entered New Zealand’s Parliament in 2011 when he was elected as the Member of Parliament for the Rodney electorate. In 2016, he was appointed as the Minister of Statistics, Minister for Land Information, and Associate Minister of Justice. In 2017, he was promoted to Cabinet and appointed as the Minister of Defence.
Mark has previously served as the Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee, and Deputy Chair of the Law and Order Committee. Following the change in Government in September 2017, he is now the Opposition Spokesperson for Defence, and the Deputy Chair of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee.
Mark enjoys the kiwi lifestyle and spending time with his family in their hometown of Orewa.