Stuart is the Member of Parliament for the Kaikoura electorate, successfully contesting the seat in the 2014 general election.
In Parliament Stuart is Deputy-Chair of the Primary Production Select Committee, and a member of the Education & Science Select Committee. He is also a member of several caucus committees including the Agricultural Caucus Committee, the Regional Development Caucus Committee, the Bluegreens (National’s advisory group on environmental issues) and the Rural Broadband Initiative working group.
Having grown up on a Mid-Canterbury sheep farm, Stuart has been involved in primary industry his whole life. He was a sheep and deer farmer before relocating to Marlborough and moving into grape-growing, later setting up his own wine-making business.
He was Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers, and subsequently inducted as a Fellow for services to the wine industry, President of the New Zealand Grape Growers Council, and Chair of Wine Marlborough Ltd, a company promoting Marlborough as a regional brand.
Stuart has been involved in many community initiatives. He was Chair of the Marlborough Water Augmentation Project, and also Chair of the Southern Valleys Irrigation Scheme Marlborough District Council sub-committee.
Stuart was a founding member and co-spokesperson for Save Our Services, a group which successfully advocated for the retention of 24/7 acute surgical and orthopaedic services at Wairau Hospital.
He lives in Blenheim with his wife Julie and their three children, Hugo, Louis and Fenella.
His main priorities as MP are regional economic development, the development of water storage and irrigation projects and the expansion of ultra-fast and rural broadband.