National MP Maureen Pugh repeatedly refuses to say she believes in man-made climate change

National MP Maureen Pugh has refused to say she believes in man-made climate change. 

Asked if she believed in climate change caused by human actions, Pugh said she hadn't seen evidence. 

"I have yet to see the response from [Climate Change Minister] James Shaw where one of our local councils wrote to him and asked him for the evidence."

There's an overwhelming international consensus that humans are causing climate change through greenhouse gas emissions.

Newshub asked if she didn't think humans are affecting climate change.

"It is not what I think. It is what I can prove. I am waiting on the evidence from the minister… I have yet to see what the evidence is that they are providing about that. "

Shaw responded by saying: "I am honestly not interested in wasting time responding to people who don't believe in science". 

Pugh, the National MP based in West Coast-Tasman, said she isn't denying climate change.

She told reporters the earth has cooled and warmed over a millennia.

"If I think back to the two cyclones that we had that impacted Tasman and the West Coast in 2018, back-to-back cyclones, they are just things nature throws at us," she said. 

"Of course I believe in climate change, I have seen the impact and the evidence of years and years of mining that shows you where the glacial moraines were over time. I have seen them over my own eyes. Climate change is real."

Pugh's leader, Christopher Luxon, said climate deniers or minimalists should be "under no illusions it's real".

"I would be very strongly saying climate change is real and you only need to look at the events over the last 15 years, 10 years in New Zealand to see that is exactly the case," Luxon said on Tuesday morning.

He said he was clear with his team that climate change is real and National is committed to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

On Monday, when speaking about Cyclone Gabrielle, he said: "If you're a climate denier or climate minimalist, you've got to give it up".

Other National colleagues Newshub spoke to were all adamant man-made climate change is real. National's deputy leader Nicola Willis and MP Chris Bishop said they would be raising the issue with Pugh.

"I disagree with [Pugh]," said Willis. "I will have a conversation with her. The science is very clear that climate change is happening, that man-made emissions have contributed to it and this is an issue that we need to rise to."

"Yes, obviously, man has an impact on the climate," said Bishop. "There is no doubt about it. We have been filling the atmosphere with fossil fuels for generations now. Of course, it has an impact."

"Without a doubt, we can see the weather we have been having to deal with for the last couple of weeks means the climate is changing. I am not going to comment on what anyone else said," said Mark Mitchell.

"Oh yes," said Judith Collins. "It is up to [Pugh to] make her own decisions." 

"I think it is obviously contributing to significant change in our climate. No doubt," said Gerry Brownlee. "I am not aware [Pugh] has made that statement."

"Of course it is. You can see the effects of it," said Erica Stanford.

"Climate change is a huge challenge for all New Zealanders and all around the world. Yes, [human activity] is an element," said Paul Goldsmith.

"I believe that there is an effect that happens. Yes. The question is always around the degree that we can do and we can't. But definitely, we are having an effect on the climate," said Barbara Kuriger.