Stupid is as stupid does, this time Ron Mark goes the extra mile

Ron Mark was warned, several times, about his wonky medal rack.

Now we know he was actually warned by DPMC…and he stupidly ignored it.

Defence minister Ron Mark was specifically told he was breaking all the rules wearing his military medals but went ahead and did so anyway.

Documents show Mark was told on October 27 – just after being sworn in as Minister of Defence – that his rack of medals was a breach of protocol and rules.

The NZ First deputy leader went on wearing his medals until November 15 when the Herald revealed he was in breach of the regulations governing decorations.

A mistake can be made, but in my experience ex-service people are very particular about this sort of thing. But to carry on regardless after you’ve been warned is just plain stupid.

In the 20 days since Mark learned his medals were a breach of the Crown’s rules on decorations and honours, he wore them while standing in front of veterans, next to the Chief of Defence Force, with foreign leaders and while inspecting troops.

NZ First leader Winston Peters is asking why Mark didn’t simply follow the instructions he was given.

Mark isn’t offering any answers. He did not respond to requests for an interview and did not answer questions. A spokesman said: “This matter has now been dealt with and we consider it closed.”

Such arrogance. It should never have been an issue in the first place if he had just followed advice. When an expert tells you you are wrong surely any sensible person would act. Not Ron Mark.

I’ll lay good money on this being used to replace Mark with Shane Jones as Winston’s deputy. If Winston has to comment on something that is embarrassing that could have been avoided he will have marked Ron’s card.

Tick tock.

There was something interesting though…this photo of Ron Mark in the Sultan of Oman’s army…it looks like it is an army of hobbits.

Ron Mark in Oman where he worked as a military officer from 1985 to 1990. Photo / Supplied


-David ‘Anal’ Fisher, NZ Herald

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.