Maureen Pugh

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Maureen Pugh

Pugh in 2014
Member of the New Zealand Parliament
for National Party list
Assumed office
14 March 2018
Preceded by Bill English
In office
9 February 2016 23 September 2017
Preceded by Tim Groser
Mayor of Westland
In office
Preceded byJohn Drylie
Succeeded byMike Havill
Personal details
Maureen Helena Pugh

1958 (age 5960)
New Zealand
NationalityNew Zealand
Political party National Party
Other political
Independent (as mayor)

Maureen Helena Pugh ONZM (born 1958) [1] [2] is a New Zealand politician who is a Member of Parliament for the National Party. She has previously served as the mayor of the Westland District.


Political career

Westland District Council

Pugh was elected to the Westland District Council in 1998 and served two terms before being elected as the district's first woman mayor in 2004, succeeding John Drylie. [3] In 2007 she was returned as mayor unopposed. [4] She stood down at the 2013 elections [5] and was succeeded as mayor by Michael Havill. [6]

While serving as mayor of Westland District Council, Pugh was accused of failure to declare a financial conflict of interest. [7] [8]

Member of Parliament

New Zealand Parliament
20162017 51st List 52 National
2018present 52nd List 44 National

At the 2014 election she contested the West Coast-Tasman electorate for the New Zealand National Party. [9] [10] She was ranked number 52 on the National Party list, just missing out on a seat. [11] Based on preliminary results, she would have entered Parliament, [12] [13] but in the final results, National's party vote was lower and the seat she would have taken was won by the Green Party (Steffan Browning). [11] Pugh was first in line should there be a vacancy in a list seat held by a National Party MP during the 51st New Zealand Parliament, and following Tim Groser's resignation in December 2015, she was sworn in as a member of parliament on 9 February 2016 after the summer recess. [14]

In the 2017 general election, Pugh had a higher list rank in the National Party, and results on election night suggested National had won enough seats (58) for Pugh to return to parliament. However, the official count including special votes showed National had won two fewer seats (56) than the preliminary count indicated, meaning that Pugh was not returned to Parliament.

In February 2018 Pugh and several other "next in line" list candidates attended National's parliamentary caucus meeting to help ease their transition into parliament should they enter during the course of the parliamentary term. [15] Following Bill English's resignation from Parliament in March 2018, Pugh was declared elected as a list MP for the National Party. [16] [17]

National Party leader Simon Bridges described Pugh as "fucking useless" in a phone call with Jami-Lee Ross that Ross released on Facebook. When the recording was released, Bridges apologised to Pugh. [18]

Personal life

Pugh and her husband John live on their farm at Turiwhate, near Kumara. [19] She does not believe in pharmaceutical drugs, preferring chiropractic treatment. [20] [21]

In the 2014 New Year Honours, Pugh was appointed an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to local government. [22]


  1. Moore, Bill (30 August 2014). "Candidates stretch out to win votes". Nelson Mail. p. 13.
  2. Carroll, Joanne (8 December 2015). "West Coast – Tasman list MP is back in parliament". . Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  3. Fraser, Rebekah (2013). "Pugh challenged for mayoralty". Greymouth Star . Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  4. "Westland District Mayor". Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  5. Conway, Glenn (16 December 2013). "Former Westland mayor to stand for National". The Press . Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  6. "Election results: Around the country". The New Zealand Herald . 12 October 2013. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  7. Lee, Julian (18 June 2013). "Westland District Council sued by heliport operators". The New Zealand Herald . Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  8. Lee, Julian (9 May 2013). "Councillors wild at Mayor's edit". Greymouth Star . Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  9. "Pugh to seek Coast seat". The Nelson Mail . 16 December 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2014.
  10. Mills, Laura; McMahon, Brendon (2014). "Pugh awaits National Party nod". Greymouth Star . Retrieved 30 September 2014.
  11. 1 2 Rutherford, Hamish (4 October 2014). "National loses majority, Greens pick up one". . Archived from the original on 4 October 2014. Retrieved 4 October 2014.
  12. Mathewson, Nicole; Stylianou, Georgina; Fulton, Tim (21 September 2014). "Election 2014: Canterbury decides". The Press . Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  13. Farrar, David (21 September 2014). "Election 2014: All the MPs for each party, plus those who failed to make the cut". National Business Review . Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  14. Small, Vernon (7 December 2015). "Groser makes way for Collins' return". The Press . p. A1. Retrieved 7 December 2015.
  15. "National caucus presents united front". RNZ . 8 February 2018. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
  16. "Maureen Pugh back in Parliament after Bill English's retirement". . 14 February 2018. Retrieved 14 February 2018.
  17. "New List MP for New Zealand National Party". Electoral Commission. 14 March 2018. Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  18. Rutherford, Hamish. "Simon Bridges describes MP colleague as ' useless' in recorded conversation". Stuff. Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  19. Moore, Bill (8 December 2015). "West Coaster Maureen Pugh going back to Parliament after early setback". Stuff. Retrieved 10 June 2016.
  20. Moir, Jo (9 June 2016). "National MP Maureen Pugh doesn't believe in pharmaceutical drugs". Stuff. Retrieved 18 October 2018.
  22. "New Year honours list 2014". Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. 31 December 2013. Retrieved 12 January 2018.