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Mr Woodhouse said he had been pushing back on an ''extremely red lobby'' in respect of his party's reputation in Dunedin.
Investments in health, education, and other sectors in Dunedin had been overlooked amid an undue focus on negative issues and cutbacks, he believed.
He said there was ''no doubt'' antipathy towards National increased in Dunedin when New Zealand First chose Labour to form a Government.
''I'm seeing it in social media, I'm seeing it in the absence of contact.''
Any suggestion he had not gone in to bat for Dunedin was unfair, he said.
''The people that actually go into the detail of the work that I've done in the city know that's not true.''
Dunedin people always felt neglected when National was in power, but it was not the case.
''I'm pushing against an extremely red lobby in that regard. There were times when I felt there was nothing that I could do that would satisfy them on any of the issues - some people, I have to say.''
Despite not being an electorate MP, his office helped many Dunedin constituents over the years.
''I think a lot of them did come in because of a belief that as a government member, doors might open a little faster.''
He expected inquiries to pick up again over time, but he needed to be proactive.
''I will need to seek out, more so than I have, the issues that are affecting people, and I'll need to make relationships, or rekindle those relationships, with social sector agencies and NGOs.''
He would watch the Dunedin Hospital rebuild to hold Health Minister and Dunedin North MP David Clark accountable for promising to speed it up.
''I think a significant part of the support [Dr Clark] picked up was as a consequence of the perception that the previous government wasn't working fast enough on the rebuild.
''I certainly had difficulty getting what the Government's commitments [were] through, including in mainstream media, but I'm not going to relitigate that.''
However, he did take further issue with the Otago Daily Times, saying: ''There is a perception around this place that you're a gotcha reporter.
''It doesn't make a blind bit of difference what I say, you don't report it.''
The southern public sector workforce increased overall under National when the likes of doctors, nurses, and police were included.
''We can get lots of breathless reports when six staff are made redundant at Immigration NZ, but nary a whisper when more than 200 nurses are recruited into the Southern DHB - and Dunedin Hospital specifically.''
Asked if he had any regrets, he said he should have done more to communicate Dunedin Hospital issues.
Being in Opposition was ''all a bit new'' for Mr Woodhouse, who entered Parliament in 2008.
''I've only known government.''
Mr Woodhouse, who rose quickly through the ranks in the previous government, held several ministerial portfolios at various times, including ACC, immigration, workplace relations and safety, police, revenue, and transport.
He is now the party's spokesman for housing and social housing.