Garner versus Waititi

Duncan Garner has taken issue with ‘treasonous’ comments by Taika Waititi .

Garner at Newshub: Taika Waititi threw NZ under the bus 

Duncan Garner has called out filmmaker Taika Waititi after he said in an interview he’s ashamed of his homeland.

The Thor: Ragnarok director, who won New Zealander of the Year 2017, told Marae the country’s reputation overseas isn’t the reality.

“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.

That sounds a bit extreme. Garner responded.

“He’s a brilliant guy, a really talented guy.

“But he’s wrong. [The rivers are] not all poison. Some of them are pretty dodgy I agree – but not all poison, and he was New Zealander of the year, this year, 2017. So he’s an ambassador for New Zealand now.

“You cannot be this treasonous about your own country.

You cannot say you’re not proud to be a New Zealander if you’re the New Zealander of the year.

You can if that’s how you feel.

“I’ve got a problem with that. You have to be accurate as well if you’re New Zealander of the year. And I reckon he’s throwing New Zealand under the bus.

“I’m proud of our country and I get more proud when I go overseas. I still get goosebumps when I come back to New Zealand after being away for a long time. I love this place and I would never say I’m not proud of it.”

Waititi also said:

“We’ve got a lot to learn about our depression rates, our suicide rates, teen suicide rates, child poverty numbers and the housing crisis.”

Fair comment.

Garner says Waititi’s “heart’s in the right place” by addressing mental health and poverty – but believes the filmmaker didn’t paint a full picture, including the country’s merits.

Should a public figure always ‘paint a full picture’ when being interviewed, even when just commenting briefly?

Leave a comment


  1. High Flying Duck

     /  19th October 2017

    Waititi is symbolic of the Green world view…he wants a whole load of very expensive problems to be fixed “before you think about things like money”.
    But it’s a free world and if he wants to spout one sided negativity he is more than entitled to. After all he is a talented director and Hollywood is a bastion of all that is good in this world so his views matter.

    • Fight4NZ

       /  19th October 2017

      Follow the money and there you will follow the trail of environmental destruction. The Greens don’t want to pay, they want those that took a profit without covering their full costs to pay. Some would call it user pays.

  2. Blazer

     /  19th October 2017

    Garners opinion means very little,he’s merely one of dozens of commentators who’s views are too big for their…brains.The truth is a bitter and unpalatable pill as John Spy found out on…Hard talk.

  3. Corky

     /  19th October 2017

    Waititi does make some fair points. We are apt sometimes to overstate how Green we are.

    And as Pete says, he’s entitled to his views.

    But this guy is also the New Zealander of the Year .. And he’s ashamed of New Zealand?

    Garner has a point.

    Why not hand his award in ( why did he accept it in the first place?) stick to the weird stuff he does and piss of overseas for good.

    He really doesn’t need us.

  4. Blazer

     /  19th October 2017

    to be fair,Hollywood are not alone…bent peers,everywhere..

  5. Zedd

     /  19th October 2017

    Garner is just talking up the myth of ‘Clean Green 100% pure (B-S)’.. dream on, along side all the others with their heads in the sand/up their A who would rather live in a fantasy-land, rather than REALITY !

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  19th October 2017

      Most of those who live in fantasy-land are in cities or Hollywood. Most of those who live in reality are in the country.

      • Zedd

         /  19th October 2017


        I hear you.. but the myth of ‘clean green NZ’ is a fantasy, that many still ‘choose’ to promote.. Waititi is just stating; point of view (closer to reality) :/

        • Zedd

           /  19th October 2017

          I mentioned a while ago, I visited a whanau members dairy farm in Waikato.. he talked about living in the ‘Clean Fresh air’, but all I could smell was cow dropping/piss & chemicals (made me almost ‘turn green’, with the smell) 😦

  6. Fight4NZ

     /  19th October 2017

    Waititi is not wrong in the content of his statement.
    But I for 1 am extremely uncomfortable with him saying these things when such a huge international spotlight is on him. When it is difficult enough for NZ to sell our largely commodity produce and tourism that is ill- considered at best


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