John Key says he is disappointed at Eleanor Catton's lack of respect for his Government after she publicly dissed his colleagues at a literary festival in India.
The Man Booker Prize author told the Jaipur Literary Festival that New Zealand is "dominated by these neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture."
The Luminaries author also said that after winning the Man Booker Prize she became uncomfortable about how people treated her in New Zealand.
"If you get success overseas then very often the local population can suddenly be very hard on you," India's Live Mint news website reported her as saying.
Now, the Prime Minister has hit back.
"I'm disappointed she doesn't have respect for what we do because I have tremendous respect for her as a writer," Mr Key said.
"I don't think that reflects what most New Zealanders perceive of the Government, if it was they probably wouldn't have voted for us in such large numbers."
Her comments have been met with mixed reactions on Twitter.
After that from Eleanor Catton I am not expecting her to get a Xmas Card from the PM after her rant— Ben Ross (@BenRoss_AKL) January 27, 2015
full credit to @EleanorCatton for making me google and learn what neoliberalism is today— Eli Matthewson (@elicalebm) January 27, 2015
Responding to @EleanorCatton's comments, Key says she's aligned with the Greens. He's disappointed but has "tremendous respect for her work"— Stacey Kirk (@StaceyKirkNZ) January 27, 2015
Eleanor Catton sure gave New Zealand a tough serve at Jaipur Fetival— mjfield (@mjfield) January 27, 2015