MP steps off campaign trail and onto field

By Caitlan Johnston 


ACC Minister Michael Woodhouse dusted off his sprigs to referee rugby sevens at the Anchor AIMS Games today.


With just 11 days until New Zealanders hit the polls, the Minister was able to briefly get away from the chaos of the campaign trail to officiate at Tauranga’s Waipuna Park.


Woodhouse, who is also Minister of Immigration and Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, has refereed 21 seasons and says it offers him a “couple of hours downtime”.


He says players in the seven-a-side rugby tournament made few mistakes and demonstrated good technique. 


Aonui Nathan, from Te Kapehu Whetu boys’ team, was also impressed with the Minister’s refereeing. Although the 13 year old prop didn’t know who the MP was, he said Woodhouse was a fair ref. 


“He played fair and went for both sides,” Nathan said.


As squalls ripped across Waipuna Park, the Dunedin-based Minister insisted: “This is a balmy spring day for me”.


Katikati College smashed Taneatua in the Minister’s first fixture, 31- 5. In his second game, Kamo Intermediate defeated Te Kapehu Whetu, 28-15.