The prime minister has described a newspaper opinion piece, written by a diplomat from the British High Commission, as bad manners.
The article headlined 'New Zealand moving too slowly on green growth', is about how various governments are promoting green services and products, and makes unfavourable comparisons with countries such as Korea and Britain.
The author, Tony Clemson, is the British High Commission's First Secretary.
Mr Key says Mr Clemson is an active member of the High Commission and he does not accept the article was written in a personal capacity.
He says he would not like to see serving New Zealand diplomats writing and publishing such views in Britain.
John Key says it is up to the British High Commission to decide whether it will offer an apology.