Claire Trevett

Claire Trevett is the New Zealand Herald’s deputy political editor.

MP scolded by ambassador for comparing NZ to Mexico

Labour MP David Parker. File photo / Richard Robinson.
Labour MP David Parker. File photo / Richard Robinson.

Labour MP David Parker has been given a lengthy scolding from the Mexican ambassador for saying New Zealand did not want to become "Australia's Mexico".

Mr Parker made the comment after news that several Australian firms - including Imperial Tobacco, Woolworths, Heinz and McCain - were setting up in New Zealand because of its lower wages.

However, the quip did not please Leonora Rueda, Mexico's Ambassador in New Zealand.

Ms Rueda sent Mr Parker a letter which she said would give him "a better and more complete understanding of the current state of affairs" and set out at length Mexico's economic advancement over recent times.

She told the Herald today that Mr Parker had unfairly chosen Mexico as his comparison and while it had troubles in the past, it had made up substantial ground.

"I don't feel offended at those declarations, but I do think they have to be contextualised in the whole situation of the development of the economy. Mexico now is not the Mexico it was 20 years ago."

In her letter she told Mr Parker there had been substantial investment in in infrastructure and a growth in skilled work in industries such as aeronautics, telecommunciations and biotechnology.

"Long gone are the days when the 'maquiladoras' (assembly plants) were the only intensive job creating resource!"

She ended with a sting: "Honourable Mr Parker, I hope this information might be useful to you should you wish to make any other comments regarding the Mexican economy."

- NZ Herald

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