MP sees ‘upside’ to missing out

National Party MP for Southland Joseph Mooney. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
National Party MP for Southland Joseph Mooney. PHOTO: RICHARD DAVISON
If he’s miffed at missing out on a ministerial call-up, Queenstown-based National MP Joseph Mooney’s doing a good job of hiding it.

When new Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced his 20 Cabinet ministers, eight ministers outside Cabinet and two under-secretaries last Friday, the second-term Southland MP — who’d been Opposition tourism spokesperson, among other roles — was left out in the cold.

The other four National MPs from the 2020 intake, who included Luxon, all got roles, and so did a National MP who only came on board last year.

Asked if he’s disappointed, Mooney responds: "I’m privileged to have the role as MP for Southland, to be a strong force for the region, and, look, I’m just happy to do whatever I can best do in this government to make sure we can deliver for our people."

As to whether he’d chatted to Luxon, "I won’t go into that", however he confirms "a lot of people" had voiced support for him since Friday, "and that’s nice".

"The reality is there were only so many ministerial roles to go around and naturally there were lesser of them thanks to the coalition [partners]."

Mooney says "the real upside of it is I’ll be ... able to spend more time advocating for things in this region".

He’s also happy the new Minister of Tourism (and Hospitality), North Canterbury-based Matt Doocey, is also a South Islander. 

"I’ve already been in contact with him to come to Queenstown, soon, so he can connect with folk here and get things moving ... "