Mark Mitchell (politician)

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The Honourable
Mark Mitchell
Mark Mitchell 2017.jpg
39th Minister of Defence
In office
2 May 2017 – 26 October 2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Preceded by Gerry Brownlee
Succeeded by Ron Mark
Minister for Land Information
In office
20 December 2016 – 26 October 2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Preceded by Louise Upston
Succeeded by Eugenie Sage
Minister of Statistics
In office
20 December 2016 – 2 May 2017
Prime Minister Bill English
Preceded by Craig Foss
Succeeded by Scott Simpson
Member of Parliament
for Rodney
Assumed office
30 November 2011
Preceded by Lockwood Smith
Majority 12,222 (32.3%)
Personal details
Born (1968-05-22) 22 May 1968 (age 49)
Political party National Party
Spouse(s) Peggy Bourne
Relations Frank Gill (grandfather)
Alma mater The Wharton School

Mark Patrick Mitchell (born 22 May 1968)[1] is a New Zealand politician and a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives. He is a member of the National Party.

Early life[edit]

Mitchell was born on Auckland's North Shore and attended Rosmini College. He then attended the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania.[2]

He was in the New Zealand Police for thirteen years from 1989 to 2002, including time as a dog handler. After leaving the police, Mitchell worked for eight years as a private security contractor and spent time in Iraq, including the siege of the Italian-run An Nasiriyah compound in Southern Iraq by the Mahdi militia in 2004.[2][3]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2011–2014 50th Rodney 59 National
2014–2017 51st Rodney 42 National
2017–present 52nd Rodney 21 National

Mitchell was selected as the National Party's candidate for Rodney on 26 April 2011, replacing Lockwood Smith.[4]

Mitchell voted against the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry in New Zealand.[5]

In 2014, Nicky Hager's book Dirty Politics presented evidence which suggested that Mitchell had hired political strategist Simon Lusk during the National Party selection process for the Rodney electorate. Lusk appeared to have collaborated with blogger Cameron Slater to discredit Mitchell's opponents, particularly Brent Robinson. Mitchell strongly denies ever paying Lusk or Slater.[6]

He served as Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee from the 2014 general election, before being appointed Minister for Land Information and Minister of Statistics in December 2016. In May 2017, he was promoted to Cabinet and became the Minister of Defence, while dropping the Statistics portfolio.[7]

In 2017, Mitchell said he would not quit politics if National lose the 2017 general election.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Mitchell has had two previous marriages, and is currently married to Peggy Bourne, who is the widow of rally driver Possum Bourne.[4][9]

His grandfather was Frank Gill, a cabinet minister between 1975 and 1980.[2]


  1. ^ The Dominion Post. 17 March 2012. p. C3.  Missing or empty |title= (help);
  2. ^ a b c In the line of duty Sunday Star Times, 27 March 2011
  3. ^ Hager, Nicky (2014). "5. Simon Lusk's Plan". Dirty Politics. footnote 43. ISBN 9781927213360. 
  4. ^ a b National selects Mark Mitchell for Rodney, 26 April 2011
  5. ^ "Gay marriage: How MPs voted". NZ Herald. 18 April 2013. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  6. ^ Chang, Derek (26 August 2014). "Disclosures disgust defeated candidate". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 27 August 2014. 
  7. ^ "Mark Mitchell". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  8. ^ "Our most intriguing Defence Minister ever?". NZ Herald. 29 April 2017. Retrieved 30 April 2017. 
  9. ^ Peggy Bourne weds National Party politician New Zealand Herald, 13 November 2011

External links[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Preceded by
Lockwood Smith
Member of Parliament for Rodney