"That should have been a yellow card and three points to us," he insisted. "It was a head high tackle. When a guy makes a break into the 22 and is stopped by a high tackle, you expect a yellow card at least."
Carter proved a major influence on the game. In the first half he used his kicking game to good effect while in the second spell his passing was to the fore.
"He has a superb kicking game and is a world class player who doesn't make too many mistakes," said Gatland.
"The All Blacks were dominant in the third quarter but I was pleased that we finished strongly and put them under pressure. In the changing rooms the boys were quite gutted afterwards - in the past they may have been happy with that result."
Wales captain Ryan Jones paid tribute to his battling troops who bounced back after being under severe pressure midway through the second half.
"We're bitterly disappointed, we came here trying to win the game," said Jones. "But I'm extremely proud of the performance, especially the last 10 minutes. We didn't give up but unfortunately we came off second best."
Like his coach, Jones admitted Wales must cut out their own mistakes and capitalise on opposition howlers if they are to consistently beat their southern hemisphere foes.
"The All Blacks capitalised on our mistakes. We can't afford to give them opportunities. You can't give a player like Dan Carter an easy ride."