Prime Minister John Key has expressed his annoyance at a British diplomat's unfavourable comparisons between New Zealand's attitude to climate change and those of other countries.
Tony Clemson, first secretary at the British High Commission in Wellington, said in an article published in the Dominion Post on Monday that New Zealand focused too much on UN negotiations.
"There seems to be a prevailing opinion that Kiwis should do only as much as is required by their international commitments," he said.
"Many fear getting ahead of the pack, but looking around the world, businesses from China to Brazil, from the US to the EU, are not waiting for legally binding international agreements."
Mr Clemson has been in New Zealand for two years and came here from South Korea - a country he says he admires for its commitment to low carbon technologies.
Mr Key told reporters he wouldn't expect a first secretary at New Zealand's High Commission in London to criticise the British government's policies.
"Apparently it's been written in a private capacity but I find it a bit hard to accept, as he is an active member of the British High Commission here," he said.
"I'm not stressed about it, but it doesn't seem like great manners."
Mr Key says 72 per cent of New Zealand's energy comes from renewable resources and the country is moving ahead with its climate change policies.
"There's a lot of countries I see that are moving backwards."
Mr Key says he hasn't taken any action over the article but Foreign Minister Murray McCully might.