Labour finance spokesman David Parker has drawn the ire of the Mexican ambassador after suggesting National's finance policies could turn New Zealand into "Australia's Mexico".
Mr Parker made the statement while criticising government policies, which he said were attracting Australian companies to New Zealand because of lower wages on this side of the Tasman.
"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," Mr Parker said.
Mexican ambassador Leonora Rueda didn't take kindly to the remarks. She's written a letter to Mr Parker setting out some economic information which "might be useful to you should you wish to make any other comments regarding the Mexican economy".
She said Mexico was now the 14th largest economy in the world and had been given the annual presidency this year of the G20, the international dialogue mechanism for the 20 most influential economies in the world.
Ms Rueda said that Mexico was one of the largest recipients of foreign direct investment in the world due to its highly developed infrastructure and a modern multi-modal transportation system, including a vast network of commercial corridors, ports and airports.
Such investment had boosted aerospace, telecommunications and biotechnology industries in Mexico, she said.Mr Parker said he was not attempting to criticise Mexico but to highlight how the gap between the economies of New Zealand and Australia was becoming as large as that between Mexico and its much more economically powerful neighbour, the United States.
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