Born in Ranfurly and raised in Clyde, Central Otago, Stewart’s childhood was one of fun and adventure. The youngest of 5 children and with his siblings having left home when he was 7, Stewart was pretty much raised as an only child. He spent a lot of time travelling Central Otago farms with his father who was a sales rep for Wrightson NMA. In later years he discovered this time with his dad had provided a base for where he is today and that he was in fact heavily influenced by his father’s hardworking attitude.
Making the most of opportunities as they arose, Stewart initially worked as an on-highway truck diesel mechanic, earthmoving machinery operator then spent time as a loader driver and support crew for Central Aviation. This work in Agricultural Aviation with both fixed and rotary wing machines was the start of the “heli“ passion.
Stewart becomes very passionate around things close to his heart like the competitive tennis he played, his skydiving and the love of aviation, his knowledge in the heavy earthmoving and mining sectors, being a loving grandfather and a few other things including Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Trust.
Stewart spent 22 years working for the New Zealand Caterpillar dealership being hired as a Machine Sales Rep through to senior management roles. Included was 10 years as International Sales & Purchasing manager which had him travel extensively all over the world. He also spent 3 years in Fiji as the General Manager of the Caterpillar dealership, Carptrac.
For the last 11 years, Stewart has owned and operated a business with his son Marc which sees them import and export heavy earthmoving, mining and construction equipment around the world.
Stewart has a lifelong passion for rotary wing flying and is very happy to see that the helicopters are now recognised as an essential part of New Zealand’s emergency response team. The use of this service ensures that those in need have been given the very best opportunity to receive the medical attention they need in the shortest amount of time.
Stewart is proud to be a Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue Service Ambassador, and loves sharing his knowledge of the service with those he meets. He uses every opportunity to highlight the amazing work undertaken by crew who can and do save lives.
One of Stewart’s main goals is assisting to future proof the service and to ensure funding is always available for crew training and upskilling, which is a constant.