Mark Lawrence was born in Porirua and was educated at Island Bay Primary School, Glenfield Intermediate and Glenfield High School in Auckland. He continued his studies at Otago University and graduated with a Bachelor of Physical Education (1990), a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (1996), and a Diploma in Paediatrics from Auckland University (2000). In his fourth year at Otago Medical School, Lawrence conducted research in conjunction with Associate Professor John Broughton on the smoking habits of Māori women. In 1995 he was a part-time research assistant with the Injury Prevention Unit at the Otago Medical School. In recognition for his commitment to Māori health in the discipline of psychiatry, Lawrence was awarded the 2002 Henry Rongomau Bennett Memorial Scholarship. From 1999-2001 he was a guest lecturer at the Otago Medical School where he taught Māori mental health issues. In conjunction with Dr Donna Clarke, Lawrence was responsible for the organisation and implementation of the 2001 Māori component of the Psychiatric Registrar programme for the Upper Central North Island Training Scheme.
Lawrence worked for Western Bay Health from 1996-98, was Team Doctor to the Bay of Plenty NPC with Dr Simon Meyhew in 1998, and Ground Doctor for the Super 12 Match between Chiefs & Highlanders, Rotorua. He worked in Paediatrics in 1998-99, and since 2000 has been working as a Psychiatric Registrar.
He is a committee member for Kids Campus Childcare Centre and from 1998-2001 assisted in the implementation and development of a Māori cultural programme for pre-school children. He was a cast member of the theatre production, Te Hokinga Mai (The Return Home) touring schools in the Otago and Southland. Lawrence is currently writing on Māori mental health related topics and has a special interest in child and adolescent mental health issues.
- Correspondence from Lawrence on 8 Mar. and 17 Apr. 1998, and 17 June 2004.
- Nga Wahine Māori Me Te Kai Paipa: Māori Women and Smoking. Dunedin, N.Z.: The Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, U of Otago, 1993.
- Co-authors John Broughton and Mark Lawrence.
- Nga Wahine Māori Me Te Kai Paipa (Māori Women And Smoking).
- "A Preliminary Report." With Dr Broughton to the Hui Rangahau Hauora, Māori Health Research Hui, Wellington, N.Z. School of Medicine, 17 May 1993.
- "Māori People and Smoking." Keynote address with Dr Broughton, for the Public Health Commission’s launch of the National Māori Smoke-free co-ordination Hui, Papakura Marae, 8 April 1994.
- "An Historical Overview of Māori Health." A presentation with Dr Broughton for the Māori Service Advisory Group of the South Canterbury Crown Health Enterprise, Arowhenua Marae, 16 April 1994.
- "Te Haerenga, The Journey of the Māori Clinician and Relating this to Best Practice Standards." Keynote address at the Te Rau Tipu Conference, Palmerston North, N.Z., 2004.
- "Presentation on the Dual Stigma of Indigenous Peoples in Relation to Mental Health and Ethnicity." At the Pacific Region of Indigenous Doctors (PRIDoC) Congress, Cairns, Australia, June 2004.