David Ross Ardern (born 28 February 1954) is a New Zealand diplomat and former police officer. He is currently the Administrator of Tokelau, having previously served as the High Commissioner of New Zealand to Niue from 2014 to 2018, and as Niue's police commissioner from 2005 to 2009.

Ross Ardern
Administrator of Tokelau
Assumed office
May 2018
Ulu-o-TokelauAfega Gaualofa
Kerisiano Kalolo
Preceded byJonathan Kings
High Commissioner of New Zealand to Niue
In office
February 2014 – 2018
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Bill English
Jacinda Ardern
Preceded byMark Blumsky
Succeeded byKirk Yates
Personal details
David Ross Ardern

(1954-02-28) 28 February 1954 (age 67)[citation needed]
Te Aroha, New Zealand
RelativesJacinda Ardern (daughter)
Alma materRoyal NZ Police College


Ardern joined the New Zealand Police in 1974, initially training at the Royal New Zealand Police College at Trentham, and was one of the police officers who carried out the Dawn Raids on Pacific Island families in the 1970s.[1][2][3] In his 40-year police career he spent about 20 years in the Criminal Investigation Branch and five years as Matamata–Piako area sub-commander.[2][4]

In 2002 Ardern received a Commissioner's Commendation for his work in the line of duty while investigating a robbery, kidnapping and sexual assault case in 1999.[5] He successfully negotiated for three hours with a man armed with a machete.[3]

Ardern was appointed Commissioner of Police for the Pacific island of Niue in 2005 for a two-year term, which was extended to four years.[2][6] During this time he was chair of the Pacific Islands Chiefs of Police for one year.[3] He also served as Niue's director of prisons and director of immigration.[7]

Ardern served as New Zealand Police liaison officer for the South Pacific, based in Samoa, from 2009 to 2013.[2][3]

In October 2013, Ardern was named by Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully as the next High Commissioner of New Zealand to Niue.[8] He took up the post in February 2014.[2]

On 15 December 2017, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Winston Peters, announced that Ardern would be the next Administrator of Tokelau, from early 2018.[9]

Ardern is the father of the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.[10] He is a practising member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in New Zealand (LDS Church in New Zealand). His twin brother, Ian, is a general authority of the LDS Church.[11][12]


  1. ^ "Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's policeman father carried out Dawn Raids as junior officer". nzherald.co.nz. 3 August 2021. Retrieved 3 August 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Ardern heads back to Niue as a diplomat". Waikato Times. 20 November 2013. p. 6.
  3. ^ a b c d "Appointment of High Commissioner to Niue a great honour for police". New Zealand Police. 16 October 2013. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  4. ^ Rasmussen, Warwick (1 June 2005). "Pacific position for district's top cop". Piako Post.
  5. ^ "Police honoured for their work". Waikato Times. 21 June 2002. p. 19.
  6. ^ Rasmussen, Warwick (17 June 2005). "Ardern gets the farewell he deserves". Piako Post.
  7. ^ Tiffany, Martin (5 June 2007). "Pacific island police work a little different". Waikato Times. p. 4.
  8. ^ "McCully announces High Commissioner to Niue". New Zealand News UK. 15 October 2013. Retrieved 2 August 2014.
  9. ^ "Administrator of Tokelau announced". Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 15 December 2017.
  10. ^ "Youngest MP keen to get down to work". Waikato Times. 11 November 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2014.
  11. ^ "Elder Ian S. Ardern". LDS Church. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  12. ^ Ardern, Ian S. "Friends & Whānau - new-era". LDS Church. Retrieved 21 June 2018.