Todd Muller's endorsement of School Strike 4 Climate in stark contrast to National leader Judith Collins

Former National leader Todd Muller's endorsement of the School Strike 4 Climate appears to be in contrast to Judith Collins, who says kids will grow out of climate activism. 

Muller, National's former leader and former climate change spokesperson, met on Friday with organisers of Tauranga's climate strike - one of about a dozen marches across New Zealand calling for more action on climate change.

"Thanks to Zara and Isaac for organising today's School Strike 4 Climate in Tauranga," Muller, who is MP for Bay of Plenty, captioned photos uploaded to social media of his meeting with the young protest organisers.

"Great to see so many people, young and old, come out in support of their call for fast and effective climate action, including a group of Mount College students I enjoyed meeting."

Muller's endorsement of the climate strike appears to differ from his leader Judith Collins, who told The AM Show in 2019 that kids would eventually grow out of climate change activism.

"I don't know what they're going to do in 12 years' time when the world has not actually led to a mass extinction of humans, and I'm sure that they will have found something else," Collins said at the time

"Another generation will come. Every generation has its thing."

Collins confirmed to Newshub on Monday she stands by her remarks. 

Muller's endorsement of the strikes also seems to be in contrast to some of his previously expressed views, such as backing farmers he said did "not feel supported" by the Government, in the wake of proposals to bring down agriculture emissions.  

ACT leader David Seymour says voters need to know what they're voting for. 

"I think Todd is someone who is capable of holding a very wide range of political positions; Todd Muller is what I call politically ambidextrous. But voters want to know what a politician stands for and stands against," he told Newshub. 

"I think, frankly, kids should be at school learning about science... In my experience of visiting schools, kids are quite fearful of climate and the environment and are often very poorly informed about it - and that really worries me, because it creates a lot of anxiety that may not be necessary."

Collins downplayed the impact of climate change before she became National leader. In a 2019 Facebook post, she lashed out at the "political left" for "hugely" overstating the impacts of climate change. 

That same year, Collins revealed she considered "crossing the floor" over National's backing of the Government's Zero Carbon Bill, meaning she would have voted against her own party, which is considered a rare move. 

With Collins as leader, National voted against the Government's climate emergency declaration last year. She described it on The AM Show as "simply virtue-signalling".

Collins chose not to speak on it in December, instead leaving it to her climate change spokesperson Stuart Smith, who echoed Collins by calling it a "symbolic gesture"

When asked again last week if he believed we're facing a climate emergency, Smith said: "No, I don't."

Under Simon Bridges' leadership, National voted in favour of the Zero Carbon Act, which established the Climate Change Commission to advise the Government on how to meet targets to reduce emissions.

The final package of advice is due on May 31.