New Zealand First deputy leader and former Carterton mayor, Ron Mark. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

JAKE BELESKI

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New Zealand First deputy leader Ron Mark understands the cookie doesn’t always crumble the way you want it to.

The former Carterton mayor is busy helping New Zealand First through its coalition talks, and said he hadn’t allowed himself much time to dwell on the disappointment of missing out on the Wairarapa electorate seat.

Mr Mark was well behind National’s Alastair Scott and Labour’s Kieran McAnulty in the race to become Wairarapa’s MP, and said it had been necessary to move on quickly once the election results had come through.

“You can only put your hand up and say I’m ready to do the job, and if the people don’t pick you to do the job you must accept the people’s judgment.

“You get on with it, and I’ve accepted I’ve been re-elected as a list MP and a party MP.”

The first thing he had to come to terms with was the fact his party had lost six MPs, many of whom were close friends.

Barbara Stewart, Pita Paraone, Richard Prosser, Denis O’Rourke, Ria Bond and Mahesh Bindra are no longer in parliament, and Mr Mark said losing them had come as “a bit of a shock”.

“That brings with it administrative adjustments that have to be managed.

“We had three new MPs coming in who have to go through an induction process, so it’s about getting to know them and assisting them where you can.”

The position New Zealand First had found itself in meant there was plenty of work to be done, and little time to worry about anything else.

“It’s fair to say there has been no time to sit down, and no real time to take stock,” he said.

“It’s been a bit easier in that sense because I’ve got a few experienced MPs around who have helped pick up some of that workload.”

Mr Mark’s staff in Wairarapa are continuing with their daily work, and he said it was a funny sort of situation to not be the local MP, but still be doing the local MP’s work.

“That’s the way the cookie crumbles.

“It’s a bit bittersweet in that, but we do what we can do with the resources we have available.”

As for his remark during the election campaign that Labour and National would have to “swallow dead rats” to win his party’s support, Mr Mark laughed and said it was simply a figurative term.