Two Otago/Southland senior MPs as coalition deals revealed

Otago and Southland have no representation in Cabinet for the first time in nearly 30 years, and the wider South Island is not doing much better.

The new government announced who got what portfolios yesterday, and it was revealed there was only one South Island-based minister inside Cabinet — Waimakariri MP Matt Doocey, who is Minister for Mental Health, ACC, Youth, and Tourism and Hospitality.

Meanwhile, there were no ministers inside Cabinet based south of the Waitaki, although Penny Simmonds, of Invercargill, is a minister outside Cabinet with the portfolios of Environment, Tertiary Education and Disability Issues.

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