Tabuteau replaces Mark as NZ First deputy

Fletcher Tabuteau (left) is New Zealand First's new deputy leader. Photo: Lynn Grieveson.

Fletcher Tabuteau has ousted Ron Mark as New Zealand First's deputy leader, saying his new role reflects his commitment to the party since its creation.

Tabuteau, the parliamentary undersecretary for foreign affairs and regional economic development, was announced as the party's new deputy by leader Winston Peters.

In a press release, Peters congratulated Tabuteau on his appointment and said the caucus had decided to support him "after careful consideration".

“New Zealand First extends its immense gratitude for the service of Ron Mark as deputy leader, Peters said.

"The party recognises Ron is an integral member of the team and we look forward to him playing a key role in the current government in his capacity as Minister of Defence and Minister of Veterans Affairs."

Tabuteau, in his second term as a New Zealand First MP, is a former economics lecturer and maths teacher who has been a member of the party since its inception.

In a statement, Tabuteau paid tribute to Mark for his stint as deputy and said he looked forward to working closely with Peters and the rest of the caucus.

"There is a lot of work to get on with and I am up to the challenge with a great team of people around me...

"I look forward to being a part of the party leadership as we look to consolidate the past 25 years and look to the future as an integral part of government, mindful as ever that we will continue to grow our membership and support base."

Mark, the Defence Minister, had been deputy since July 2015 after deposing the incumbent Tracey Martin.