Singer Elizabeth Marvelly has led the support for fellow Kiwi Eleanor Catton after the author came under fire for criticising the country's politicians.
The Man Booker Prize winner 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".
Prime Minister John Key responded by saying he was disappointed at Ms Catton's lack of respect for his Government, despite his "tremendous respect for her as a writer".
Ms Catton's comments drew mixed reactions on Twitter, with some saying she shouldn't live in New Zealand if that's how she feels about those who run the country.
But others, including Marvelly, say Catton is fully entitled to her opinion and doesn't deserve to be targeted for using freedom of speech - a right championed in New Zealand.
Since when did holding an opinion opposite to the Prime Minister become disrespectful? Seems a bit contrary to the spirit of democracy...— Lizzie Marvelly (@LizzieMarvelly) January 27, 2015
Hey all you people slagging off Eleanor Catton for expressing an opinion about the country she lives in! I SEE YOU.— Jessica Williams (@mizjwilliams) January 27, 2015
It's not hard to read between the lines of all those bagging @EleanorCatton - it goes something like 'Get back in the kitchen, woman'.— Mike Kilpatrick (@mikekilpatrick) January 27, 2015
The Prime Minister's comments in a written endorsement he gave for the New Zealand Literary Heritage Trail several years ago have also drawn ridicule on Twitter.
"I have always believed we should enhance the literary skills of our young people," wrote Mr Key in the endorsement.
"And while our literary heroes may never challenge the glory and respect given to our All Blacks, we still need role models to inspire us."
John Key is not too bothered that Eleanor Catton doesn’t like him because she is not an All Black— Hamish Keith (@hamish_keith) January 27, 2015
Surprised John Key has "tremendous respect for [Eleanor Catton] as a writer" considering she's not even an All Black http://t.co/JrWA6QzC4q— John Hart (@farmgeek) January 27, 2015