Michael Woodhouse

Michael Allan Woodhouse (born 1965)[1] is a National member of the New Zealand Parliament.

Michael Woodhouse
Michael Woodhouse.jpg
12th Shadow Leader of the House
In office
28 August 2021 – 6 December 2021
LeaderJudith Collins
Preceded byChris Bishop
Succeeded byChris Bishop
Deputy Leader of the House
In office
2 May 2017 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterBill English
Preceded bySimon Bridges
Succeeded byIain Lees-Galloway
12th Minister for ACC
In office
20 December 2016 – 26 October 2017
Prime MinisterBill English
Preceded byNikki Kaye
Succeeded byIain Lees-Galloway
55th 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
Born
Michael Allan Woodhouse

1965 (age 55–56)
South Dunedin, New Zealand
Political partyNational
Websitewww.michaelwoodhouse.co.nz

Early yearsEdit

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.[2]

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.[2]

He worked at Taylor McLachlan Accountants in Dunedin, Dunedin Hospital and ACC. In 2005 he earned a Masters of Health Administration at the University of New South Wales in Australia.[3] Before his political career, Woodhouse was the CEO of Mercy Hospital in Dunedin from 2001 to 2008.[2]

Woodhouse was convicted for drink-driving when he was 21 years old.[4]

Member of ParliamentEdit

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
2017–2020 52nd List 10 National
2020–present 53rd List 12 National

Michael Woodhouse was first elected to Parliament in 2008 as a list MP for the National Party. In each election, he has unsuccessfully contested the electorate that covers central Dunedin: first Dunedin North (2008–2017), and then Dunedin (2020).

Woodhouse served senior roles in the John Key and Bill English-led Fifth National Government, including senior whip, Minister of Immigration, Minister of Transport, Minister of Police and Minister of Revenue. He is currently the Opposition Finance Spokesperson.

Fifth National Government, 2008–2017Edit

Woodhouse was selected as National's Dunedin North candidate in 2008, succeeding Katherine Rich who had been a list MP for 9 years but was retiring.[5][6] The electorate had been held by the Labour Party for all but six years since 1922, and Woodhouse was defeated by the Labour incumbent Pete Hodgson. Despite this loss, due to the National Party's strong result and his position on the party list, Woodhouse was elected as a list MP. He re-contested Dunedin North in the 2011 election and the 2014 election, losing to Labour's new candidate David Clark, but was returned as a list MP each time.

In his first term, Woodhouse served as a member of the Health and Transport & Industrial Relations Select Committees. After the 2011 election, Woodhouse was elected as the National Party's senior whip.

In a reshuffle of the Executive in January 2013, Woodhouse was made a minister outside cabinet and was given the Immigration, Veteran's Affairs and associate transport portfolios.[7] In January 2014, he was promoted into the Cabinet; that October, after the 2014 election, he was assigned the Police portfolio and the new Workplace Relations and Safety portfolio. In 2016 he served as Minister of Revenue and in 2017, under new prime minister Bill English, was Minister for the Accident Compensation Corporation.

As Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, Woodhouse caused controversy when he released a list of 57 high-risk industries for his Health and Safety Reform Bill in August 2015. This list was mocked by the Opposition because worm farming and mini golf were deemed "high risk", while dairy and cattle farming was 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".[8] 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".[9]

Woodhouse also led the passage of the Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill, which devolved to local authorities the power to pass bylaws allowing shops to open on Easter Sunday.

Opposition, 2017–presentEdit

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.[10][11] Michael Woodhouse became Deputy Shadow Leader of the House and the National Party's spokesperson for health and immigration.

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.[12][13] 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.[14][15]

As Opposition health spokesperson, Woodhouse was a member of the Epidemic Response Committee, a select committee that considered the government's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.[16] On 17 June, Woodhouse claimed that a source had told him that two travellers, who tested positive for COVID-19, had made physical contact with others while travelling from Auckland to Wellington to attend a funeral. In response, the Ministry of Health confirmed that the two infected travellers had "five minutes" of limited contact with two friends during their journey.[17]

On 18 June, Woodhouse alleged that a homeless man had bluffed his way into a two-week stay in a five-star hotel being used as a COVID-19 isolation facility by pretending to have newly returned from overseas.[18] On 23 June, after Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield told media that an investigation had found no evidence to support Woodhouse's claims and that the alleged incident was likely to be "an urban myth," Woodhouse responded that he stood by his statements, saying "the absence of any evidence does not mean it did not occur."[19] On 11 August, RNZ reported that official investigations had concluded that a man with no fixed abode had spent time in managed isolation, but had done so after returning from Australia, and hence had been present legitimately.[20]

On 10 July, Woodhouse admitted that he had received private patient information from former National Party President Michelle Boag in late June, which had led to Boag's resignation from the National Party and fellow National MP Hamish Walker being stripped of his portfolios. Woodhouse confirmed that he had deleted the emails, stating that it was inappropriate to have leaked them.[21][22] Woodhouse was criticised by Health Minister Chris Hipkins, who alleged that he had been "sitting on information" related to the recent COVID-19 leak.[23] Following a leadership election within the National Party that was held on 15 July 2020, Woodhouse was stripped of his health spokesperson portfolio by newly elected leader Judith Collins, who gave the role to Shane Reti.[24][25]

During the 2020 New Zealand general election held on 17 October, Woodhouse contested the new Dunedin electorate but was defeated again by David Clark, by a final margin of 15,521 votes.[26] Woodhouse was re-elected to Parliament on the party list.[27] After Gerry Brownlee resigned as National Party deputy leader, Stuff reported that Woodhouse was considering running for the position and was "taking soundings", though said that he was "unlikely to run if there is caucus consensus around [Shane] Reti.[28] In the end, Woodhouse did not stand and Reti was elected as deputy leader unopposed on 10 November.[29] The next day, Woodhouse was announced as the party's new finance spokesperson.[30]

In December 2021, following the leadership election of Christopher Luxon, Woodhouse lost the finance portfolio to Simon Bridges.[31]

ViewsEdit

Woodhouse voted against the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill, a bill allowing same-sex couples to marry in New Zealand.[32] He also opposed the End of Life Choice Bill and the Abortion Legislation Bill.[33][34]

Despite his opposition to the proposed Contraception, Sterilisation, and Abortion (Safe Areas) Amendment Bill on free speech grounds, Woodhouse voted in favour of the bill during its first Parliamentary reading because the public needed to have their say on the proposed legislation at the select committee stage.[35]

Personal lifeEdit

Woodhouse is married to Amanda; the couple has three children.[36]

He is an avid rugby fan, having played for Otago and South Island representative teams in his youth. He has been active in the Parliamentary Sports Trust as a rugby player and referee, having also refereed the game before and during his parliamentary career.[37]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Roll of members of the New Zealand House of Representatives, 1854 onwards" (PDF). New Zealand Parliament. 24 May 2019. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Hon Michael Woodhouse". New Zealand National Party. Archived from the original on 16 December 2014. Retrieved 16 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Michael Woodhouse's Graduate Register". University of New South Wales. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  4. ^ Shadwell, Talia (30 October 2014). "Police minister's drink-drive confession". The Dominion Post. Archived from the original on 18 December 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  5. ^ New Zealand National Party (11 April 2008). "National Selects Michael Woodhouse as Candidate | Scoop News". www.scoop.co.nz. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  6. ^ McLean, Elspeth (10 November 2008). "Michael Woodhouse not an MP for the money". Otago Daily Times Online News. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  7. ^ "Hon Michael Woodhouse". New Zealand Parliament. Archived from the original on 23 May 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  8. ^ Rutherford, Hamish (20 August 2015). "Government deems mini-golf and worm farming more risky than cattle farming". Stuff. Archived from the original on 29 April 2017. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  9. ^ New Zealand Labour Party (14 October 2015). "Woodhouse wrote own worm farm risk list". Scoop. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  10. ^ Chapman, Grant (19 October 2017). "Full video: NZ First leader Winston Peters announces next Government". Newshub. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  11. ^ Hurley, Emma (19 October 2017). "An 'historic moment' for the Green Party – James Shaw". Newshub. Archived from the original on 4 June 2019. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  12. ^ Kirk, Stacey (1 August 2018). "National wants the Health Targets to be a legal requirement". Stuff. Archived from the original on 24 November 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  13. ^ Houlahan, Mike (6 August 2018). "Woodhouse pushes health targets case". Otago Daily Times. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  14. ^ "National's Michael Woodhouse calls for whistleblower Chelsea Manning to be banned from New Zealand". The New Zealand Herald. 28 August 2018. Archived from the original on 27 May 2019. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  15. ^ Garrick, Gia (28 August 2018). "National wants Chelsea Manning banned from NZ". Radio New Zealand. Archived from the original on 21 April 2020. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  16. ^ "Epidemic response". New Zealand Parliament. Archived from the original on 13 June 2020. Retrieved 23 April 2020.
  17. ^ "Ministry of Health respond to National's claims Covid-19 positive pair gave helps a 'kiss and cuddle'". The New Zealand Herald. 17 June 2020. Archived from the original on 17 June 2020. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  18. ^ "Homeless man bluffed his way into 5-star isolation hotel, claims Michael Woodhouse". Stuff. 18 June 2020. Archived from the original on 16 July 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  19. ^ Dreaver, Charlie (23 June 2020). "Woodhouse sticks with claim homeless man entered isolation hotel". Radio New Zealand. Archived from the original on 22 July 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Woodhouse's isolation homeless mystery man claim debunked". Radio New Zealand. Archived from the original on 11 August 2020. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  21. ^ "National MP Michael Woodhouse admits receiving similar Covid-19 leak from Michelle Boag". 1 News. 10 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  22. ^ McNeilly, Hamish (10 July 2020). "Coronavirus: Michael Woodhouse says way Michelle Boag leaked patient information wasn't 'normal'". Stuff. Archived from the original on 10 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Woodhouse slammed for sitting on Covid leak info". Otago Daily Times. 10 July 2020. Archived from the original on 10 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  24. ^ Houlahan, Mike (16 July 2020). "Woodhouse takes medicine". Otago Daily Times. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  25. ^ "Covid-19 leak: Judith Collins drops Michael Woodhouse from health role, replacing him with Shane Reti". Stuff. 15 July 2020. Archived from the original on 15 July 2020. Retrieved 15 July 2020.
  26. ^ "Dunedin - Final Result". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  27. ^ "2020 General Election and Referendums - Official Result Successful Candidates". Electoral Commission. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  28. ^ Coughlan, Thomas (7 November 2020). "Election 2020: Michael Woodhouse weighing up whether to run for National deputy leader". Stuff. Retrieved 7 November 2020.
  29. ^ Manch, Thomas; Cooke, Henry (10 November 2020). "Shane Reti elected unopposed as new deputy leader of the National Party". Stuff. Retrieved 10 November 2020.
  30. ^ "Woodhouse a winner in Nats reshuffle". Otago Daily Times Online News. 11 November 2020. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  31. ^ Houlahan, Mike (1 December 2021). "Southern MPs positive on Luxon; Woodhouse set to lose role". Otago Daily Times.
  32. ^ "Two Canty MPs vote against gay marriage bill". The Press. 30 August 2012. Archived from the original on 28 August 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  33. ^ "End of Life Choice Bill — Third Reading". New Zealand Parliament. 13 November 2019. Retrieved 15 November 2019.
  34. ^ "Abortion Legislation Bill — Third Reading". New Zealand Parliament. 18 March 2020. Retrieved 18 March 2020.
  35. ^ Small, Zane (12 March 2021). "How MPs voted on law change that would allow safe zones around abortion clinics". Newshub. Archived from the original on 16 March 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  36. ^ "HON MICHAEL WOODHOUSE List MP in Dunedin". Michael Woodhouse's website. Retrieved 8 June 2015.
  37. ^ Brown, Timothy (10 May 2016). "MP returns to rugby roots". Otago Daily Times Online News. Retrieved 23 December 2020.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by Minister for Land Information
2014
Succeeded by
Preceded by Minister of Police
2014–2015
Succeeded by