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'Australia's Mexico' comment sparks diplomatic response

Published: 5:03PM Monday April 23, 2012 Source: ONE News

The Mexican ambassador to New Zealand has responded to comments by Labour MP David Parker that New Zealand is at risk of becoming "Australia's Mexico".

Parker made the remarks following news that Imperial Tobacco would be moving cigarette manufacturing from Sydney to New Zealand.

"Labour does not want New Zealand to become Australia's Mexico, yet with lower value jobs such as making cigarettes that is exactly what is happening," Parker said.

But Mexico's representative in Wellington, Leonora Rueda, says Mexico is the 14th biggest economy in the world, and attracts plenty of foreign investment - read her letter here

Her letter outlines Mexico's recent economic achievements, which she hoped would help Parker "should you [Parker] wish to make any other comments regarding the Mexican economy".

Parker's comments came just weeks after National minister Gerry Brownlee apologised over comments he made about Finland.

In a Parliamentary debate, Brownlee criticised Labour leader David Shearer for using Finland as an example when outlining his vision for New Zealand.

Brownlee proceeded to list reasons why he believes New Zealand is a superior country to Finland, including a "terrible" homicide rate, having a better standard of living, more consistent growth, lower unemployment, and lower inflation rates.

He also said Finland "hardly educates its people, and has no respect for women".

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