Clayton lives in Christchurch, where he went to school at St Bede’s College and later obtained an MBA and BA with a triple major from the University of Canterbury. He is a former small business owner and held senior positions in the private sector in the field of public and corporate affairs until 1999, when he was elected to represent the communities of Waimakariri in Parliament.
Clayton is the Labour Spokesperson for Commerce, State Owned Enterprise, Building and Construction, the Earthquake Commission and the Associate Spokesperson for Finance. He also served in several ministerial roles in the last Labour Government, including Building and Construction, Associate Finance, and Small Business.
Clayton has also worked in senior commercial roles in the telecommunications and minerals industries both in Australia and New Zealand and worked as a Senior Advisor to Rt Hon Mike Moore, former Prime Minister of New Zealand.
- 1999 to present - Member of Parliament
- 2002 - Named by the World Economic Forum (WEF) as one of 100 Global Leaders of Tomorrow, and in 2005 named again by the WEF as one of 237 Young Global Leaders
- 2007 - selected to participate in a global leadership and public policy executive education programme at the John F Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, USA
- 2012 – selected to attend an Executive Education Programme at Yale University, USA