National candidate Mark Mitchell has resigned his executive role with a military logistics group whose subsidiary is accused of defrauding the American military of US$8.5 billion ($11.24b) in regard to a contract to supply food to US troops in Iraq.

The Orewa man was chief security officer of Kuwait-based Agility Logistics, part of a multinational group of companies.

Mitchell says his part of Agility had little to do with the US arm that is denying and fighting the fraud charges. "That's a totally separate company that's based out of the US," he said yesterday.

Last night, Mitchell issued a statement: "I was an executive in a large global company. This dispute involves a contract that I had (and have) no involvement with."


Mitchell should be a shoo-in for the safe National seat of Rodney - though millionaire Conservative Party leader Colin Craig is mounting a determined challenge.

According to today's Key Research poll, commissioned by the Herald on Sunday, the Conservative Party would win 1.6 per cent of the vote - enough for about three MPs.

Mitchell decided to return to New Zealand this year with his fiancee Peggy Bourne - the widow of rally driver Possum Bourne - to run for Parliament.

The two married last weekend at their large home in Orewa.