Golriz Ghahraman Steps Down Amid Shoplifting Allegations
Controversial Resignation: Golriz Ghahraman Steps Down Amid Shoplifting Allegations
A New Zealand Member of Parliament, Golriz Ghahraman from the Green Party, has tendered her resignation amidst a growing controversy over multiple shoplifting allegations. The police are actively investigating the claims, asserting that Ghahraman stole items on three separate occasions from two different clothing stores, one located in Auckland and the other in Wellington.
In a public statement, Ghahraman acknowledged the allegations and attributed her actions to the overwhelming stress associated with her work, stating that the strain led her to behave in ways entirely contrary to her usual character. Expressing remorse, she admitted to letting down numerous individuals and apologized for her actions.
Ghahraman, a former United Nations human rights lawyer, achieved historic milestones in 2017 as the first refugee to be sworn into the New Zealand government. At that time, she held the Green Party’s justice portfolio. Fleeing Iran as a child, she and her family were granted political asylum in New Zealand.
The MP’s resignation follows the emergence of CCTV footage allegedly showing her taking a designer handbag from a boutique in Auckland. Despite the public scrutiny, Ghahraman has not been charged with any crime. In her statement, she acknowledged that her behavior fell short of the high standards expected from elected representatives.
She attributed her actions to irrational behavior and, following a medical evaluation, revealed her recognition of her own unwell state. Ghahraman declined to make excuses for herself and disclosed that a mental health professional had identified her recent behavior as consistent with extreme stress response and previously unrecognized trauma.
In response to her resignation, Green Party co-leader James Shaw highlighted the continuous threats of sexual violence, physical violence, and death threats that Ghahraman had endured since her election to Parliament in 2017. He emphasized the toll such threats took on her mental health and the ongoing police investigations into these matters.
Fellow Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson acknowledged the appropriateness of Ghahraman’s resignation but expressed concern for her well-being. Davidson affirmed continued support for Ghahraman, recognizing the broader societal issues related to the treatment of women, particularly women of color, with public profiles.