Youth, social issues and Afghanistan controversy on the agenda for new defence minister

Helping at-risk youth and other social issues is the new mission for the new Defence Minister Ron Mark.

He’s visited Devonport Naval Base for the first time as Defence Minister and talked to 1 NEWS about his plans for his new job.

He wants the Defence Force to be more involved in things like training young people, and is promising to double the number of students in a six-week programme run by the military.

Mr Mark has also received a briefing on Operation Burnham and he’s considering whether to investigate.

Alleged improper behaviour of New Zealand soldiers in Afghanistan was detailed in the book Hit and Run.

National said no to an inquiry. Labour in opposition called for an investigation.

National's defence spokesperson Mark Mitchell said it's a bad look for the minister.

Mr Mark will meet with the Prime Minister in the next few weeks. 

National says it's a bad look for the new minister, however. Source: 1 NEWS