WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Following New Zealand’s election last month, a tripartite coalition government comprised of the Labour, NZ First and Green parties was sworn in Thursday.
Ron Mark, 63, a member of the NZ First party and a former soldier, has been appointed minister of defense.
He joined the New Zealand Army in 1971 and successfully completed the special forces selection course in 1982, followed by a tour of duty in the Sinai Desert.
In 1985, he left the Army as a captain and served with the Sultan of Oman’s Armed Forces in Dhofar until 1990.
He first became a member of parliament in 1996.
The Labour party didn’t offer a defense policy for the September election, and the Greens expressed a preference for peace-keeping and disaster relief. NZ First promised to “return offensive capabilities the Royal New Zealand Air Force and enhance offensive capabilities of the Army and Navy,“ including a cyberwarfare unit.