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Barbara Joy Stewart is a New Zealand politician. She is a member of the New Zealand First party.
Stewart was born in Wairoa in 1952. She obtained a BEd and a Postgraduate Diploma in Management Studies, both from the University of Waikato. Before entering politics, she was a teacher and a company training officer.
Member of Parliament
|Parliament of New Zealand|
Stewart was elected to Parliament in the 2002 election as a list MP, having been ranked sixth on the New Zealand First party list. In 2006 she introduced a Member's Bill to Parliament to reduce the size of the New Zealand House of Representatives from 120 members to 100 members. The bill passed its first reading 61 votes to 60 on 16 March 2006, but was defeated at its Second Reading on 8 November 2006.
In the 2008 general election Stewart was fifth on the New Zealand First party list, but the party lost all its parliamentary seats, winning no electorates and polling below the 5% threshold.
At the 2011 election Stewart was re-elected to Parliament following a resurgence in the New Zealand First Party Vote where she had been ranked fifth on the Party List. Stewart had stood in the Waikato seat but was unsuccessful in defeating Lindsay Tisch, the incumbent National Party of New Zealand MP. Stewart was elected Party whip by the new NZ First Caucus following the 2011 election and has remained in this role following her election at the 2014 election.