Michael Woodhouse

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Michael Woodhouse

Michael Woodhouse.jpg
Deputy Leader of the House
In office
2 May 2017 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterBill English
Preceded bySimon Bridges
Succeeded byIain Lees-Galloway
Minister for ACC
In office
20 December 2016 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterBill English
Preceded byNikki Kaye
Succeeded byIain Lees-Galloway
Minister of Immigration
In office
31 January 2013 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Bill English
Preceded byNathan Guy
Succeeded byIain Lees-Galloway
1st Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety
In office
8 October 2014 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Bill English
Preceded bySimon Bridges (as Minister of Labour)
Succeeded byIain Lees-Galloway
28th Minister of Revenue
In office
14 December 2015 – 20 December 2016
Prime MinisterJohn Key
Bill English
Preceded byTodd McClay
Succeeded byJudith Collins
Personal details
BornSouth Dunedin, New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealand
Political partyNational

Michael Allan Woodhouse (born c.1965) is a National member of the New Zealand Parliament.

Early years[edit]

Woodhouse was born and raised in South Dunedin, the fifth of nine children. He attended St Patrick's, St Edmund's and St Pauls High School, now Kavanagh College, which he left at the end of sixth form in 1982.[1]

He worked for the National Bank of New Zealand in Dunedin and Wellington until 1987 when he embarked on a rugby sojourn to Scotland and England, playing for Dunfermline 1987/88 and Broughton Park in Manchester 1988/89.[citation needed] He then returned to Dunedin where he studied Commerce and Accounting at the University of Otago, which he graduated from in 1993.[1]

He worked at Taylor Mclachlan Accountants in Dunedin, Dunedin Hospital and ACC. In 2005 he earned a masters in Health at the University of New South Wales in Australia. Prior to his political career, Woodhouse was the CEO of Mercy Hospital in Dunedin from 2001 to 2008.[1]

Woodhouse was convicted for drink-driving when he was 21 years old.[2]

Member of Parliament[edit]

New Zealand Parliament
Years Term Electorate List Party
2008–2011 49th List 49 National
2011–2014 50th List 31 National
2014–2017 51st List 20 National
2017–present 51st List 10 National

Fifth National Government, 2008–2017[edit]

Woodhouse stood in Dunedin North in 2008 and, though he received 30.64% (9972) of the votes he was defeated by incumbent electorate Pete Hodgson who received 52.62% of the vote. He was still however elected to the New Zealand House of Representatives through National's party list. In the 2011 election, Woodhouse reduced the majority from 7,155 in 2008[3] to 3,489 against David Clark.[4] National also lost the party vote by 420 votes. Clark beat Woodhouse with an increased majority in the 2014 election.[5]

A member of the Health and Transport & Industrial Relations Select Committees in the 49th Parliament, Woodhouse was elected as the National Party's senior whip on 20 December 2011.[6] He is the head of the Parliamentarians for Arthritis group and is active in the Parliamentary Sports Trust as a rugby player and referee.[citation needed]

In a reshuffle in January 2013, Woodhouse was made a minister outside cabinet and was given the Immigration, Veteran's Affairs and associate transport portfolios.[7] During his time in Parliament, Woodhouse voted against the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry in New Zealand.[8] During the Fifth National Government, Woodhouse served in various portfolios including immigration, transport, veteran's affairs, land information, workplace relations and safety, police, and the Accident Compensation Corporation.[7][1]

In August 2015, Michael Woodhouse caused controversy when he released a list of 57 high risk industries for his Health an Safety Reform Bill. This list was mocked by the Opposition because worm farming and mini golf were deemed "high risk", while dairy and cattle farming were not. Labour leader, Andrew Little, stated the new classifications were "overly complicated, ill thought out and rushed through to appease National Party backers, putting the lives of New Zealanders at risk".[9] While Labour's spokesperson for Labour issues, Iain Lees-Galloway, said Woodhouse "can’t worm his way out of this. He will be forever ridiculed as the Minister who made killer worm farms safer but failed to protect people working in some of New Zealand's most dangerous industries".[10]

During the 2017 general election, Michael Woodhouse was re-elected as a List MP on the National Party List. However, he failed to capture the Dunedin North electorate seat, which was held by Labour MP David Clark.[11]

Sixth Labour Government, 2017–present[edit]

Following the formation of a Labour-led coalition government with the support of New Zealand First and the Green Party, National and its former support partner, the libertarian ACT New Zealand party, formed the opposition in the House of Representatives.[12][13] Michael Woodhouse became Deputy Shadow Leader of the House and the National Party's spokesperson for health and immigration. He is also currently a member of the health and privileges select committees.[7]

In early August 2018, Woodhouse in his capacity as National health spokesperson called for National Health Targets to be a legal requirement in response to the Labour Party's proposed Child Poverty legislation.[14][15] In late August 2018, Woodhouse objected to United States whistleblower Chelsea Manning's proposed tour of New Zealand in early September 2018, arguing that she should be banned due to her lack of remorse over her role in leaking sensitive US military documents to WikiLeaks.[16][17]

Personal life[edit]

Woodhouse is an avid rugby fan, having played for Otago in his youth. He has a wife Amanda and three children.[18]

An avid rugby follower, Woodhouse played age group rugby for Otago and South Island rep teams and premier rugby for Dunedin and Western Suburbs in Wellington. He also refereed 84 premier and approximately 20 representative colts and 'B' provincial matches. He also was a premier grade referee.[1][better source needed]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Hon Michael Woodhouse". national.org.nz. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  2. ^ Shadwell, Talia (30 October 2014). "Police minister's drink-drive confession". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Official Count Results – Dunedin North". Electionresults.govt.nz. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  4. ^ New Zealand Electoral Commission. "Official Count Results – Dunedin North". Electionresults.govt.nz. Retrieved 27 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Agony and ecstasy for Dunedin party faithful". Otago Daily Times. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2014.
  6. ^ "National's whips Woodhouse and Upston". Stuff.co.nz, Fairfax New Zealand. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  7. ^ a b c "Hon Michael Woodhouse". New Zealand Parliament. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Two Canty MPs vote against gay marriage bill". The Press. 30 August 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  9. ^ Rutherford, Hamish (20 August 2015). "Government deems mini-golf and worm farming more risky than cattle farming". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Woodhouse wrote own worm farm risk list". New Zealand Labour Party. Scoop. 14 October 2015. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  11. ^ "2017 General Election list of successful candidates" (PDF). Electoral Commission. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  12. ^ Chapman, Grant (19 October 2017). "Full video: NZ First leader Winston Peters announces next Government". Newshub. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  13. ^ Hurley, Emma (19 October 2017). "An 'historic moment' for the Green Party – James Shaw". Newshub. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  14. ^ Kirk, Stacey (1 August 2018). "National wants the Health Targets to be a legal requirement". Stuff.co.nz. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  15. ^ Houlahan, Mike (6 August 2018). "Woodhouse pushes health targets case". Otago Daily Times. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  16. ^ "National's Michael Woodhouse calls for whistleblower Chelsea Manning to be banned from New Zealand". The New Zealand Herald. 28 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  17. ^ Garrick, Gia (28 August 2018). "National wants Chelsea Manning banned from NZ". Radio New Zealand. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  18. ^ "HON MICHAEL WOODHOUSE List MP in Dunedin". Retrieved 8 June 2015.

External links[edit]