Oscar-nominated filmmaker Taika Waititi says New Zealand "has a lot to learn" when it comes to environmental and social issues.

Speaking to TVNZ's Marae from his home in Los Angeles, the internationally acclaimed Kiwi director says he is "not very proud" of New Zealand.



"I'm not very proud of coming from a place that everyone overseas thinks it's this pure, clean, green country but, in reality, all our lakes and waterways are poison," he said.

"We've got a lot to learn about looking after the environment. We've got a lot to learn about our depression rates, our suicide rates, teen suicide rates, child poverty numbers and the housing crisis," the Boy director said.

He also spoke up against how "readily available" land is to foreigners in New Zealand.

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"That's what you should fix before you think about things like money."

Waititi is currently promoting his latest film, Thor: Ragnarok.