MP Shane Ardern to retire

MICHAEL FOX
Last updated 12:27 03/12/2013
SHANE ARDERN:
JONATHAN CAMERON
SHANE ARDERN: "Family and farming is where my heart lies."

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Taranaki-King Country MP Shane Ardern will retire from politics at the next election.

Ardern said that after 16 years in Parliament it was time to spend more time with his family and return to fulltime work on his farm.

"Family and farming is where my heart lies," he said.

Ardern said he entered politics because he was passionate about representing rural New Zealanders and ensuring they had a voice in Wellington.

"As chair of the primary production select committee, chair of National's agriculture caucus and through my work on a number of other select committees, I have worked on policies that have helped drive New Zealand's economic recovery," he said.

"These have assisted our farming communities and the towns and businesses that rely so heavily on the success of our primary industries."

Ardern was charged with disorderly conduct after driving a tractor called Myrtle up the steps of Parliament in 2003 in protest against the proposed "fart tax". The charges were dropped.

Ardern was first elected in a by-election in 1998.

He joins Napier MP Chris Tremain, Hunua's Paul Hutchison, Waimakariri's Kate Wilkinson, list MPs Katrina Shanks, Chris Auchinvole and Cam Calder and Whangarei's Phil Heatley as National MPs retiring next year.

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