Green MP resigns after allegations of shoplifting
MP Golriz Ghahraman has resigned from Parliament under immense political pressure following three separate accusations of shoplifting.
In a statement early this afternoon, the Green MP says stress relating to her work has led her 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."
She says she has been seeing a mental health professional who has advised her recent behaviour may relate to unrecognised trauma, but takes full responsibility for her actions, which she "deeply regrets".
“People should, rightly, expect the highest standards of behaviour from their elected representatives. I fell short. I’m sorry. It’s not a behaviour I can explain because it’s not rational in any way, and after medical evaluation, I understand I’m not well."
She says she is resigning immediately.
“I have let down a lot of people and I am very sorry.
“The best thing for my mental health is to resign as a Member of Parliament and to focus on my recovery and to find other ways to work for positive change in the world."
Ms Ghahraman has been accused of two incidents of shoplifting from upmarket clothing store Scotties Boutique in Auckland's Ponsonby, as well as a third allegation, from Wellington store Cre8iveworx.
In her statement, she thanks Scotties Boutique for "the kindness and empathy" they have shown her.
“I now ask for people to give me the space and privacy I need to get better. I won’t be commenting further at this time.”
In a joint statement Green co-leaders say it is clear Ms Ghahraman "is in a state of extreme distress" and they support her decision to resign.
“We are deeply sorry to see Ms Ghahraman leave under these circumstances and we wish her all the best for the future.
“Ms Ghahraman has worked tirelessly on behalf of her communities. Nothing detracts from that work and we know she will continue to support those communities in the future."
The leaders would not comment on the shoplifting allegations saying police investigations are ongoing.
Main image: Facebook/Golriz Ghahraman MP