Jenny Shipley Biography, Life, Interesting Facts
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Childhood and Early Life
New Zealand politician Jenny Shipley was born Jennifer Mary Robson in Gore, South Island, New Zealand on the 4 February 1952.
Jenny Shipley graduated from Marlborough Girls College in Blenheim before enrolling at the Christchurch College of Education (1971).
Rise to Fame
During the early 1970s, Jenny Shipley taught at primary school level in New Zealand. In 1975, she became a member of the National Party. She was first elected to parliament in 1987 as the member of the Ashburton electorate. When the New Zealand National Party won the general election in 1990, Shipley became a cabinet minister. She was the Minister of Social Welfare (1990-1996), Minister for Women’s Affairs (1990-1996), Minister of Health (1993-1996) and Minister of Transport (1996-1997).
Prime Minister James Bolger resigned in December 1997, and Jenny Shipley was chosen to replace him, becoming New Zealand’s first female prime minister. At the time, the National Party was part of a coalition with Winston Peters’ New Zealand First party which broke up in August 1998. Shipley then allied with a New Zealand First offshoot, Mauri Pacific and was able to retain power. Her party lost the 1999 election, and Shipley became the Leader of the Opposition (1999-2001).
Jenny Shipley is a member of the Council of Women World Leaders, is active in business and is also involved in various charitable and community organisations.
Jenny Shipley married Burton Shipley in 1973, and they lived in Ashburton, South Island, Newland. They have two children: Anna and Ben. In 2009, age 48, Shipley suffered a severe heart attack due to a genetic disposition towards heart disease. She has since recovered.
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