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This is really awkward

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 pm, February 21st, 2023 - 63 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment, national, same old national, science - Tags:

Maureen Pugh strikes again.

She has previously sided with the anti vaccination movement, prevaricated over being vaccinated herself and then hurriedly deleting a pro protest post she put up on facebook.  She was also described as being f*&king useless by Simon Bridges three National leaders ago.

The emergence of that event caused National to take drastic steps as detailed by Heather De Plessis Allan:

Take the case of Maureen Pugh. This is the MP described by Bridges in a secret recording as “f**king useless”. As soon as that tape leaked, National took over her life. They took her phone off her. A staffer answered it on her behalf. They probably drafted the tweet she sent out accepting Bridges’ apology. They marched her out to tell TV cameras she was fine. They sent another MP for support. Or supervision.

National is probably wishing that it had kept this supervision up.  Because Maureen has yet again dropped National in it, this time two weeks after two climate change induced storms had ravaged the North Island by questioning whether or not climate change is actually a thing.

From Jane Patterson at Radio New Zealand:

MPs this morning were being asked about the cyclone and the impact of climate change. Pugh was asked whether she thought climate change had made the recent cyclones and flooding more extreme.

“Some of the impact I’ve seen, a lot of the damage that was done, especially around Auckland, was because people weren’t allowed to prune and manage trees, that have come down and taken the cliffsides with them.”

She did believe in climate change, insisted Pugh, but was yet to be convinced human activity was a contributor.

“It’s not what I think, it’s what I can prove,” she told reporters.

Pugh said she was waiting for a response from Climate Change Minister James Shaw, after “one of our local councils wrote to him and asked him for the evidence before they impacted their ratepayers”.

“I’m not denying climate change, I’ve seen the evidence of it, we have cooled and warmed, cooled and warmed over millions of years.”

Pugh’s intellect is such that I don’t think that she will ever be able to be convinced that human induced climate change is a thing.  She shows no ability to understand the science.  And her comment about the warming and cooling of the climate is straight out of the climate change deniers handbook.

As for her comment that people not being allowed to prune and manage trees was the cause of coastal slips I have never read something this ridiculous ever coming from an MP.  And there is a lot of competition.

It makes you wonder how many other National MPs think similarly but do not publicly voice these opinions.  And why the country should ever trust National with the reigns of Government again.

This is not an accident.

Climate change does not feature in National’s priorities.

There is a fine line between not accepting that climate change is a crisis and that human induced climate change is not proven.  Both views will prevent us from taking steps that we need to take now.

63 comments on “This is really awkward ”

  1. tsmithfield 1

    Yes. She is a total embarrassment. Right up there with the flat-earthers and the anti-vaxxers.

    The problem with people of her ilk is that she claims she wants evidence. But, whatever evidence was put in front of her wouldn't be good enough. All she needs to do is go and look at a few of our glaciers and compare then with pics from 40 years ago if she wants evidence.

  2. Peter 2

    Maureen has been to school this morning – well, schooled anyway.

    "National MP Maureen Pugh’s about-turn on climate change after Christopher Luxon intervenes"


    • Tony Veitch 2.1

      From the article: Luxon said,

      In our caucus from day one we are deeply, deeply committed to climate change.

      Which can be read two ways – that Natz will continue to contribute to climate change – by, for instance, encouraging oil and gas exploration again,

      or – that the Natz are aware of climate change but will do little or nothing to combat it.

      Maureen probably has quite a few covert supporters in her party (Stuart Smith for instance) and Luxon probably thinks his god will somehow save us all (or at least the chosen few among us)!

      • Mac1 2.1.1

        "(Stuart Smith for instance) ".

        Got some evidence for that, Tony? Love to see it. Is he a closet climate change denier or a closet Pugh supporter?

      • Drowsy M. Kram 2.1.2

        Yep, Luxon's statement that the Nat caucus "are deeply, deeply committed to climate change" is an exemplar of his thoughtless off-the-cuff utterances.
        Mayor Brown is in over his head, and Luxon’s out of his depth wink

  3. AB 3

    The woke mob at the head of the National Party have cancelled Maureen. Sad!

  4. roy cartland 4

    I just love Maureen Pugh. She's my pick for the next National leader.

    • Tony Veitch 4.1

      Maureen is truly a "national" treasure!

      Seriously, would she be any worse than “Liability Luxon?”

    • woodart 4.2

      fun fact.. pugh claims to have been hit by lightning, three times! we are getting into the twilight zone . next nat candidate selection meeting for the west coast is going to be interesting. could be tinfoil hat territory! that area throws up some bizarre councillors as well.

      • Incognito 4.2.1

        Surely, they can find some wealthy businessman from overseas to parachute into the unsuspecting electorate, as they did with John Key in the Helensville electorate. Even a former Manager of an airline will do.

        • Matiri

          It's a challenging electorate is West Coast Tasman – very large and remote, stretching from Haast to Golden Bay. Maybe Pugh is the only Nat willing to take it on, but it is her home.

          • Incognito

            What’s life without a challenge …

          • observer

            The nightmare for National is that Pugh stands again and wins the seat. That would mean one fewer in off the list, which they want to use for "rejuvenation".

            Like Epsom, it's an electorate they would rather lose.

          • Graeme

            Also the Coast cooker / denier vote is substantial, and, if they vote, mostly vote National.

            She's just playing to her constituency.

          • Maurice

            Yep West Coast Tasman is a large electorate needing HEAPS of FF to get from one end to the other and back to Parliament … no wonder Pugh dotes upon the means to travel to and fro!

    • She may be Labour's biggest asset in October – driving votes red!

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Anyone that follows or participates in Parliamentary politics in some way, would know that with all the main parties selection mistakes can be made, or swings happen, and blockheads or worse sneak through and become MPs. And even some unsuccessful candidates can appear in public too–as per Northland Christian School Principal Mark Tan, whose photo appeared in the Northland Age last year, as a brick thrower (while on sabbatical for being anti vaccination) at the Parliamentary occupation.

    The Natzos sure do seem to have more than their share of such people however!

  6. observer 6

    She doesn't need to do more reading, as Willis says. She is 65. How much longer should she spend at school? She needs to do more leaving.

    The problem is that National keep giving her an electable list position. Even in the purge of 2020, Pugh survived.

    Assuming National get a much higher vote in 2023 (which they should) then she remains a "useless" MP, or even a Minister. She should be told (sorry, "encouraged") not to stand again. Otherwise Luxon's fresh new team is looking a lot like the stale old one.

    • woodart 6.1

      why does she get such a high list placing?is it to help the fiction that the nats arent a white male preserve? is that why she sits behind luxo in the house? surely the nats arent that woke?lol!

      • Mac1 6.1.1

        woodart, she sits behind Luxon because she is the National party junior whip, as of 2021. Her job is to nod her head when Luxon speaks and mouth "That's right."

        • woodart

          Ive got one of those, won it at the A and P show. surely the nats could get someone else as nodding backdrop?

  7. Incognito 7

    Pugh’s main (…) mistake was to undermine the National Party and damage the little credibility that they have in the space of CC.


  8. Johnr 8

    I hear on natrad that Cluxon has grave concerns about Labour effectively managing this crisis.

    To misquote cluxons puppet master Donkey. " Show us the plan, show us the plan"

    Oh that's right they're the party of personal responsibility. Sorry peasants, fix ya own ; roads, houses, businesses et al

  9. Maureen when the mayor of Westland almost bankrupted it. She is a great asset to Labour! Is Luxon ever going to run out of photo ops and different clothing for each one?

  10. Liberty Belle 10

    So does this mean Simon was right after all?wink

  11. I wondered if it was to remove the spotlight from Chris Hipkins.??

    Hard to believe she has not seen the science.angry

  12. Leighton 12

    I am impressed that Luxon has so adamantly drawn a line in the sand, despite the fact that this will alienate a substantial portion of his base. The first time in his tenure that he has publicly shown what I would regard as meaningful leadership. The acid test will be whether his unequivocal acceptance of climate change means that this manages to bump "Delivering tax relief" off his list of priorities. Until he walks the talk it is lip service.

    • observer 12.1

      He was bounced into it, though. If you watch the Newshub clip, he's asked a general Q about climate change and he re-iterates the party line, and only then gets told that Pugh has had a brain fart. So he had no choice but to back up his own words.

      There's a real issue of internal communication here. No leader should get blindsided by their own MP, so that the reporters know before he does.

  13. Thinker 13

    I think what those of us on the left don't understand, and we have to own our past mistakes, is that climate change is caused by too much tax.

    That's why the best way to deal with climate change is by cutting taxes.

    Together, we can do this.


    • Macro 13.1

      Of course! It's obvious isn't it. By cutting taxes we can afford to buy much more modern cars which will be way more fuel efficient AND the bigger the engine the bigger the efficiency! Now I understand why everyone needs a 4×4 SUV/UTE of enormous proportions to go get the groceries – they are saving the planet.

    • mickysavage 13.2

      Haha it is clear to me now … with enough prayer …

  14. Peter 14

    There's one thing the Pugh situation highlights as she is being attacked, ridiculed, lampooned and her deficiencies making her stand out.

    Compared to US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene? I reckon Maureen Pugh is a total amateur. Taylor Greene carries on with an almost daily splurge of stupidity, vacuity and outstanding dumbness and still garners enough votes to get elected.

    In a comparative sense Pugh is a genius, a treasure of our parliamentary system.

  15. Robert Guyton 15

    Maureen, Maureen, Maureen, Maureeeeeeeen!

    I'm begging of you, please!!!

    • roy cartland 15.1

      Now that deserves a send-up, it could be as good as Planet Key (remember that?)!

    • Shanreagh 15.2

      No, no you mustn't send up this song, it is verboten even for such a good cause as Maureen's is.

      I linked to it being sung as a duet by Olivia Newton John and Dolly Parton a couple of nights ago.

      Funny as I get older I am able to reclaim my former more secret favs such as Dolly, Kenny Rogers & especially Gladys Knight & the Pips & Midnight Train to Georgia.

  16. observer 16

    One very watchable minute, with some classic quotes:

  17. newsense 17

    No one really seemed to pick up on what Wayne Brown said to Kin Hill before someone did a Maureen Pugh on him too:

    Kim: ‘Is there any doubt in your mind that this is an example of climate change?’

    Mayor Brown:

    ‘It’s a bit early to ask that. Erm, you know we’ve had some major events throughout my life. [nb the mayor had just finished saying how unprecedented this event was.] …and so it’s a bit early to jump to that, let’s just fix things that we’ve got now, I’m worried about the people [safety, restore infrastructure]…it’s a bit early for that and it’s not helpful either, to be honest.’

    Kim Hill interviews Mayor Brown during the Auckland flooding

    By Monday two days later his scripted comment was “As the Prime Minister has said, this is climate change. And I agree.”

    Apology by the Mayor on Jan 30th

    Which makes you think there’s still a lot of people for whom doubting and minimising climate change is part of their identity and perhaps they haven’t yet been seriously affected yet and are thinking like Mayor Brown’s first instinct. After all we’ve seen opportunistic Cits and Rats try to blame this on intensification, someone saying we can’t afford to recover from this event and build rail to mitigate future events and all other manner of things short of trips to Cancun.

  18. Thinker 18

    I'm going to be first in the queue to get my MAGA cap (Make Auckland Great Again)…

    Based on Brown's performance to date, its sure to be in production.

  19. Mike the Lefty 19

    I think that many National MPs probably secretly agree with her. National, even now, still prevaricates about climate change; sometimes agreeing, sometimes disagreeing, and always implying that it isn't such a big deal as the political left see it.

    If National wins the next election, almost certainly with ACT gaining some important cabinet portfolios, we will see National's commitment to addressing climate change watered down (no pun intended) even more as ACT calls the shots.

    • newsense 19.1

      Oh the positions seem fairly clear.

      ’It’s terrible, but it’s too late for us to do anything and we’re insignificant against China etc.’

      Ambulance at the bottom of the cliff, rebuilding, but no holding carbon producers to account and no priority for mitigation such as public transport and significant clean power. We’ve already seen Labour tack a bit in this direction.

  20. SPC 20

    Given no one on the right denies that we contribute, science shows the how, it was a matter of her inability to even stay on script with her teams climate change inaction politics.

    (reluctantly dragged along with) Acceptance of climate change caused by man, because we get science and are an electable government

    but …

  21. arkie 21

    Luxon: Maureen Pugh 'does a really good job'


    Evidence please, Mr Luxon

    • woodart 21.1

      well, she can read and do backflips at the same time. thats got to be a circus ad.

    • Matiri 21.2

      I am in her electorate and have a disability and she doesn't make any effort to represent me! From the RNZ item:

      "Yeah, look, Maureen's a great local MP representing the West Coast incredibly well. She's deeply passionate about her portfolios – around disability in particular – and she does a really good job.

  22. joe90 22

    Nearly five years on and it's still as funny AF.

    Simon was right.

    I am fucking useless.

    I’m not ashamed of it. I never have been. In fact, that’s why I became an MP.

    I became an MP because I wanted to represent you, the people of West Coast-Tasman, and if there’s one thing I know, it’s that you’re useless. You’re fucking useless. We’re all fucking useless.

    For too long have our politicians represented the able, the competent, the capable, the generally sentient. But why should our national representatives only reflect those of us who can do, and not those of us who cannot?


  23. Mac1 23

    I see, watching Parliament, that someone's nodding head is missing from behind Mr Luxon in the junior Whip's seat.

    Someone else is sitting in Maureen Pugh's pew!

  24. AB 24

    How much reading does Maureen need to do? Wouldn't a couple of graphs do the trick? They only need to correlate atmospheric CO2 with global economic output, global population, global record temperatures , arctic ice cover and number of extreme weather events . She really doesn't need to read anything.

    The issue is that she , like many of her colleagues, is ideologically pre-disposed not to believe it.

  25. Kyle Webster 25

    nuclear power-loving"" Maws

    • weka 25.1

      I let this comment through but I have no idea what it means.

      • Incognito 25.1.1

        Heh! I was going to send it to Trash because if I cannot parse it, it would seem a poor comment – it lacked substance or anything redeeming.

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    5 days ago
  • Further legislation introduced to support cyclone recovery
    The Government has introduced the Severe Weather Emergency Recovery Legislation Bill to further support the recovery and rebuild from the recent severe weather events in the North Island. “We know from our experiences following the Canterbury and Kaikōura earthquakes that it will take some time before we completely understand the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Duty relief for cyclone-affected businesses
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  • Thousands of sole parents to be better off after child support changes
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago

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