Taika Waititi "not proud", reckons New Zealand needs to sort its shit out
Filmmaker Taika Waititi says he's not proud of his homeland.
The New Zealander, who's drawing plenty of adulation for directing the critically acclaimed new Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok, says Aotearoa has plenty of problems that aren't being addressed.
He said he's particularly ashamed because New Zealand has such a good reputation overseas - but it's not always warranted.
"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 told Marae.
"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."
He also took issue with New Zealand making land "so readily available" for foreigners to buy.
"To me it seems like that's what you should fix before you think about things like money," he said.
Despite his issues with New Zealand, Waititi says he injected a number of jokes into the Thor script that only people here and in Australia would understand.
In the film, he plays a rocky alien named Korg who speaks with a very strong Kiwi accent - and now there's an action figure being sold of the character.