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Michael was first elected to Parliament in 2008 as a National List MP based in Dunedin. During his first term in Parliament, he was a member of the Transport and Industrial Relations select committee, the Health select committee and the Finance and Expenditure select committee. Following the 2011 General Election, Michael was made the Senior Government Whip – a position he held until his appointment as Minister of Immigration, Minister of Veterans’ Affairs and Associate Minister of Transport in January 2013. In May 2014, Michael was also appointed Minister for Land Information.

After the 2014 General Election, Michael was reappointed Minister of Immigration and appointed Minister of Police and Workplace Relations and Safety. In December 2015, he gained the Revenue portfolio in place of Police.  In December 2016, Michael gained the ACC portfolio in place of Revenue. Minister Woodhouse was appointed Deputy Leader of the House in May 2017.

Before being elected to Parliament in 2008, Michael was the Chief Executive Officer of Mercy Hospital Dunedin, a position he held for 7 ½ years.  Prior to that Michael held senior management positions with ACC, where he was instrumental in implementing ACC’s Elective Services Contracting framework and at Dunedin Hospital in change management, revenue and planning roles.

Michael was educated at St Pauls High School (now Kavanagh College) in Dunedin and graduated from the University of Otago with a Bachelor of Commerce degree. He is a Chartered Accountant and also has a Master of Health Administration from the University of New South Wales.

Michael is a former President of the NZ Private Surgical Hospitals Association and has also been the Vice President of the NZ Private Hospitals Association, a larger organisation which included the private aged care sector. He is also a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management.

Michael is an honorary Rotarian and is active in community and voluntary work in the Otago region. He is an avid rugby fan, having played age group representative rugby for Otago and South Island teams and a premier grade referee, as well as a “fair weather” runner.

Michael is married and has three daughters.