Acclaimed author Eleanor Catton says she's struggled with being an ambassador for New Zealand because she doesn't think the country is doing as much as it could to support the literary arts.
Catton, who won the 2013 Man Booker Prize for her novel The Luminaries, has been at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India where she told reporters she's struggled with her identity as a New Zealand writer.
"I've never really thought of myself as a New Zealand writer. Coming and being an ambassador for my country when I feel that actually my country is not doing as much as they could for the intellectual world in general, but for the literary arts ... It's just a slightly complicated position to be in," she said.
Catton said she feels "very angry with my government".
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"At the moment, New Zealand, like Australia and Canada, (are dominated by) these neo-liberal, profit-obsessed, very shallow, very money-hungry politicians who do not care about culture.
"They care about short-term gains. They would destroy the planet in order to be able to have the life they want," India's Live Mint news website quoted her as saying.
NZ Prime Minister John Key said he's disappointed Catton "doesn't have respect for the work we do because I have tremendous respect for what she does as a writer".
He said Catton has been aligned with the Green Party and her comments "probably summarise the Green Party's view of this government".