Advertisement

Updated January 16th, 2024 at 15:16 IST

New Zealand MP Resigns Amid Shoplifting Allegations, Cites 'Mental Trauma'

New Zealand's first refugee to be elected as a member of parliament Golriz Ghahraman resigned from her office following damaging accusations of shoplifting.

CCTV footage of Former MP Golriz Ghahraman allegedly committing shoplifting surfaces
CCTV footage of Former MP Golriz Ghahraman allegedly committing shoplifting surfaces | Image:X - @LizGunnNZ
Advertisement

Wellington - New Zealand's first refugee to be elected as a member of parliament Golriz Ghahraman resigned from her office following damaging accusations of shoplifting from two high-end clothing stores in Auckland and Wellington. In her first public statement since the allegations surfaced, Ghahraman noted that these allegations gave her “personal stress and trauma”, The Guardian reported. The resignation from the parliamentarian came after a CCTV footage of her attempting to steal items from at least two stores emerged. In the statement, Ghahraman noted that she is taking “full responsibility” for her actions and will not try to give any excuses on the matter. 

“It is clear to me that my mental health is being badly affected by the stresses relating to my work. This has led me to act in ways that are completely out of character. I am not trying to excuse my actions, but I do want to explain them," Ghahraman said in a statement after resigning from her post. “People should, rightly, expect the highest standards of behaviour from their elected representatives. I fell short. I’m sorry," he added. The former parliamentarian insisted that she would be focussing on her recovery and “find other ways to work for positive change in the world”. She mentioned that she is taking this measure following a medical evaluation and discussions with a mental health professional. “My recent behaviour is consistent with recent events giving rise to extreme stress response, and relating to previously unrecognised trauma,” she said. “With that in mind, I don’t want to hide behind my mental health problems, and I take full responsibility for my actions which I deeply regret," she furthered. 

Advertisement

What went down? 

On January 10, New Zealand's news outlet, Newstalk ZB Plus first reported accusations against the 43-year-old MP, claiming she was involved in shoplifting during the festive season at Scotties Boutique. While the police acknowledged the investigation into the allegation, they were unable to confirm specific individual identities at that time. Amid the chaos, the Green Party leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw held a press conference after days of silence and confirmed that they had accepted Ghahraman's resignation.  “Accountability was important,” they noted. “It’s important to understand that all MPs are still human,” Davidson averred. “What we are disappointed about is the circumstances she finds herself in. It’s unfortunate and it’s important to us she takes accountability for her actions and gets the support that she needs. We hope it [the investigation] gets resolved as fast as it can," Shaw added. 

Advertisement

Shaw went on to point out that Ghahraman has faced increased stress during her brief parliamentary tenure due to physical threats she has received. The two politicians noted that Ghahraman has also been subject to continuous threats of sexual violence and death threats “since the day she was elected to Parliament”,  The Independent reported. “There are going to be consequences for that. I have a lot of empathy for the fact that she has identified that she is in a state of mental distress," she said. “Everyone will have criticisms about how we handled [the situation]. It doesn’t change the outcome. Ultimately, she is taking accountability for her actions and is seeking help," she furthered. 

Advertisement

Published January 16th, 2024 at 15:16 IST

Your Voice. Now Direct.

Send us your views, we’ll publish them. This section is moderated.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Whatsapp logo