| Jim Bolger|
New Zealand Politician
| New Zealand|
Opunake High School
| 26 January 1960 (age 55)
Opunake (1960-01-26) |
New Zealand National Party
Shane Ardern Wikipedia
Philip Shane Ardern (known as Shane Ardern) (born 26 January 1960) is a New Zealand politician. He is a member of the National Party and represented the electorate of Taranaki-King Country from 1998 to 2014.
Ardern was born and raised in Opunake, and attended Opunake High School. Before entering politics, Ardern was a dairy farmer, and many of his political activities have been on behalf of the farming community.
He was first elected in the Taranaki-King Country by-election of 1998, which was prompted by the retirement from politics of former Prime Minister Jim Bolger. He held that seat from 1998 to 2014.
Ardern was one of the driving forces behind the legislation that enabled the setting up of dairy giant Fonterra. He gained nationwide recognition in late 2003 when, having driven a tractor up the front steps of Parliament House as part of a protest against a proposed agricultural emissions research levy, nicknamed the "flatulence" or "fart tax", he was investigated by police for dangerous conduct and charged with disorderly conduct. From 2008-2014 he was appointed Chairman of the Primary Production Select Committee, a role that he held until his retirement. It was speculated by media and bloggers in late 2013, early 2014 that Ardern was one of the MPs likely to retire due to the need for caucus rejuvenation.
Ardern announced he was stepping down from his seat in December 2013 and that he would remain an MP until the end of the 50th New Zealand Parliament. Since retiring from Parliament, Ardern has returned to his Central North Island Farms, having been succeeded in the Taranki-King Country seat by Barbara Kuriger. Ardern has also begun advocating again at the grassroots levels for the Taranaki farming communities that supply Fonterra having been noted at several post-election forums held by the Dairy Industry.