Ron Mark Plays the Blame Game

By Rantykiwi

Ron Mark is busily duck-shoving and deflecting blame for the 757 breakdown whilst utterly failing to address the elephant in the room. He should be asking what our PM was doing using a RNZAF plane in the first place.

Defence Minister Ron Mark says the New Zealand Defence Force plane that the Prime Minister used is at the “end of [its] life”
[…] His comments come after Jacinda Ardern was stranded in Australia when the NZDF plane broke down.

Ardern managed to get home on a commercial flight which landed at Auckland Airport at about midnight on Friday.

“Of course it is always embarrassing when a plane that the Prime Minister is given to travel on breaks down but replacing it isn’t a priority,” Mark said.

He said New Zealand was stuck with the 757 aircraft until 2028 and it would be up to the government of the day to decide what to do with it then.

“The number of times successive governments have bought the wrong gear, and sadly I’m stuck with those problems and we just have to deal with it.”

In the meantime, Mark has recommended the Prime Minister use chartered planes to travel.

Maybe the PM should just catch commercial flights as her predecessors have done.

The NZDF’s two 757s were acquired in 2003 at a cost of $221 million, which included the cost of modifications in 2007.

A Newspaper

So that would have been a Labour/NZ First coalition government that you were a part of that “bought the wrong gear”. You’d better take ownership of this one Ron.

The main reason for using the plane appears to have been for the socialist propaganda/talkfest…and lovey dovey press jaunt. Any official part seems to be well down the list of proriddys.


I recall that there was talk at the time these 757’s were purchased that it was a bad deal. From memory, they were already fairly old airframes. It’s Funny how Ron Mark tries to pin the blame on “successive governments” trying to make it look like National were to blame when in fact Labour/NZF were firmly in the driver’s seat when it comes to the state of our Air Service (cannot really call them and Air Force)!


Making a major purchase will always be flagged as a bad deal if there’s a decent opposition in place. The 757s were only a decade old (and still in current production) when the RNZAF purchased them. The purchase included significant upgrades to both airframe and avionics to ensure that they had a decent lifespan going forward and that sounds like quite a good purchase to me.

The 757 also has very good short runway and climb performance – both of which add to its versatility and enable it to fill a greater range of roles than pretty much any other passenger aircraft that was available at the time. Sure they are getting old now, but plenty are still in commercial service which speaks volumes about their viability.

Overall I reckon they were a good move, but it’s time for us to start looking for replacements – and for that I reckon we should grab a couple of extra Super-Hercs and fit them out in a passenger configuration.