Stuart Alexander Nash (born August 1967) is a politician from New Zealand. He was a member of the House of Representatives for the Labour Party from 2008 to 2011, and was re-elected in the 2014 election as representative of the Napier electorate. Nash is the great-grandson of former Prime Minister, Sir Walter Nash.
Born and educated in Napier, Nash holds master's degrees in Law, Forestry Science and Management at University of Canterbury. Before moving back to his home town of Napier, he was the Director of Strategic Development at Auckland University of Technology.
|Parliament of New Zealand|
Early political career
In 2005 Nash was the Labour candidate for the safe National seat of Epsom, placing third behind Rodney Hide and Richard Worth; having been directed by then-Prime Minister Helen Clark to direct Labour supporters to vote for the National candidate, Richard Worth, in a strategy designed to defeat ACT MP, Rodney Hide. The tactic didn't work, with Hide winning; though at 9,915 Labour received the highest number of party votes in this electorate at any time under the MMP parliamentary system. Placed at number 60 on the party list, Nash failed to get elected.
Election to Parliament on the list
In 2007 Nash contested the Labour Party selection for the Napier seat in the 2008 general election, but lost to Russell Fairbrother, a list MP and the former Napier electorate MP. However Nash was ranked at number 36 on the party list and was subsequently elected to parliament as the lowest-ranked candidate who was successful at the election.
After becoming a list MP Nash was appointed Labour's spokesperson for Revenue, and associate spokesperson for Trade and Forestry by Labour leader Phil Goff. On 15 June 2010, Opposition Leader Phil Goff appointed Nash to be portfolio spokesperson for Forestry, a position formerly held by Mita Ririnui. In February 2011 Phil Goff announced his new caucus line up and Nash was ranked 27th, retaining all his portfolio responsibilities.
In the 2011 general election, Nash contested the Napier electorate seat held by National Cabinet Minister Chris Tremain. Nash reduced Tremain's 2008 majority of 9,018 votes by 5,300 votes (the highest reduction achieved against a sitting National electorate MP) but still came second. As well, Nash was ranked 27 on the Labour list, higher than in 2008 but not high enough on the Labour list to return to Parliament as a List MP.
After leaving Parliament, Nash signed on as the chief-of-staff for newly appointed party leader David Shearer. However, Nash resigned after just four months into the job and returned to his home town of Napier, citing the birth of his new child and focusing on winning back the Napier electorate.
2014–current: return to Parliament
In February 2014, Nash was selected as Labour's candidate for Napier to contest the 2014 general election. National's Tremain had retired and was succeeded by Wayne Walford, and Nash had a majority of 3,850 votes over Walford. The Napier electorate was also contested by Garth McVicar for the Conservative Party, and McVicar's 7,603 votes cut into traditional National Party votes.