Brownlee s comments upset Finland
Brownlee's comments upset Finland

Finland's diplomats are upset about comments cabinet minister Gerry Brownlee made about their country in parliament last week.

A letter of complaint has been sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Radio New Zealand reported on Monday.

Labour MPs have been using Finland as an example of the sort of policies the government should adopt and Mr Brownlee tried to turn that against them.

"Finland has worse unemployment than us, has less growth than us, can hardly feed the people who live there, has a terrible homicide rate, hardly educates their people and has no respect for women," he said.

Finland's embassy in Australia, which is accredited to New Zealand, says Mr Brownlee's comments don't reflect life in Finland and are being widely reported by Finnish newspapers and broadcast media.

Mr Brownlee says his remarks were intended to be humorous and satirical.

A Finnish lecturer at Auckland's University of Technology says the third-ranked minister is uneducated and wrong.

Merja Myllylahti says Finland has had a female president and prime minister and nearly half its cabinet are women, while women also excel in business at top levels.

NZ Newswire

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