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Stuart comes from a Canterbury family that were fifth generation sheep & deer farmers. He is married to Julie and father to three adult age children-Hugo, Louis and Fenella.

Stuart and Julie moved to Marlborough in 1994 and began growing grapes. In 1996 they established their own wine label and Stuart became interested in the wider Viticulture industry. He had an early involvement with the Marlborough Grape Growers Association.

Since then he has held several local and national roles including being President of the New Zealand Grape Growers Council and Chair of New Zealand Winegrowers. He was subsequently inducted as a Fellow of the New Zealand Winegrowers Board for services to the industry.

He is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

In 2014 Stuart entered Parliament winning with a majority of around 11,000 votes and successfully held his seat in the 2017 election by a similar number.

He is spokesperson for Civil Defence, EQC and the National Party’s Viticulture spokesperson. He is also Chairperson for GLOBE-NZ, an association of national parliamentarians working on sustainable development policy whose mission is to work across party political divisions to develop legislative responses to the major environmental challenges.