Commodore Shane Arndell was born in Tauranga, New Zealand, in 1971, educated at Mount Maunganui College, and joined the Royal New Zealand Navy in 1990.
After initial training as a sailor in the Writer (Administration) Branch, he was selected as a Midshipman on the General List (Executive) and was commissioned in January 1991. At the end of his Junior Officers Common Training he was awarded the Minister of Defence Sword of Honour as the top graduate of the Class of 1991.
His professional development postings throughout his career included service at sea as a Bridge Watchkeeping Officer and Antisubmarine Aircraft Control Officer from 1994 to 1999; as a Principal Warfare Officer in frigates from 2001 to 2004; and as the Operations Officer in HMNZ Ships Canterbury in 2003, Te Mana in 2004, and the Logistic Support Ship HMNZS Canterbury in 2007. He was appointed Executive Officer, and Second-in-Command, of HMNZ Ships Te Mana in August 2004 and Canterbury in 2008. He has completed professional warfare training in Australia and the United Kingdom at various stages throughout his career.
Operational Service includes service at sea in HMNZS Te Kaha during the Timor Independence Crisis and enforcing United Nations Sanctions against Iraq, in the Northern Arabian Gulf, in 1999. Shane also served as Military Observer for the United Nations Transition Authority East Timor in Timor Leste from July 2002 to January 2003. He was the Operations Officer in HMNZS Te Mana during Operation Enduring Freedom in the Gulf of Oman and Arabian Gulf in 2004, and the Commanding Officer of HMNZS Te Mana assigned to the Combined Maritime Forces CTF 151 and NATO CTF 508 on Counter Piracy operations in the Gulf of Aden from November 2013 to February 2014.
Command appointments include Commanding Officer of the Hydrographical Survey Ship HMNZS Resolution, from February 2009 to November 2010, and Commanding Officer of HMNZS Te Mana, from 12 December 2012 to 8 May 2014.
Staff appointments to Operational and Strategic Headquarters have included postings as the Deputy Director Naval Operations in 1997 and 1998; as an O4 Staff Officer in the Headquarters Joint Forces New Zealand from 2002 to 2003; Military Assistant to the Chief of Navy and Human Resource Manager to the Navy’s Executive Branch from 29 November 2010 until December 2012, on promotion to Commander; and to Headquarters New Zealand Defence Force (Capability Branch) as the Maritime Lead for the New Zealand’s Defence Assessment 2014 and Defence White Paper from May 2014 to May 2015.
Commodore Arndell was promoted to Captain and appointed as the Director for Strategic Engagement for Defence, in August 2016. In 2017 he became as the Defence Attachè to Belgium (Resident) and France (Non Resident), and as the Permanent Deputy Military Representative to NATO and the European Union. He held these positions in Brussels, Belgium from October 2017 until July 2020.
He was the Acting Defence Advisor to the United Kingdom and Head of New Zealand Defence Staff, London, based in Brussels due to COVID-19 Pandemic travel restrictions, from mid April to the end of July 2020.
In August 2020, he took up the role of Assistant Chief of Navy - Delivery and Headquarters Navy Chief of Staff until his promotion as the Acting Deputy Chief of Navy on 29 November 2021.
Commodore Shane Arndell is a graduate of the Australian Defence College, Advanced Command and Staff Course of 2006; a graduate of the United States Naval War College, Naval Command Course Class of 2016; and holds a Masters of Science in Innovation and Strategic Management from Salve Regina University in Rhode Island, United States.