Green Party urged to front on Golriz Ghahraman shoplifting allegations

Golriz Ghahraman is now back in New Zealand after allegations of shoplifting surfaced.
Golriz Ghahraman is now back in New Zealand after allegations of shoplifting surfaced. Photo credit: Supplied

Story by RNZ

The Greens' silence about shoplifting allegations against one of its MPs is fuelling speculation and the party needs to front up, a political expert says.

Golriz Ghahraman has been accused of shoplifting twice from upmarket Auckland clothing store, Scotties Boutique, but has not commented on the allegations.

The Green Party said she was overseas on a personal trip, but political commentator Shane Te Pou told Morning Report both the MP and her party needed to make a clear statement about the claims.

"Either they have veracity or they don't. I think there are probably very few grey areas in this."

The party's chief of staff should have made sure the issue was a high priority, Te Pou - a former candidate and campaign manager of the Labour Party - said.

"Golriz should have come home, she should have fronted it sooner, or if she was unable to do that she should have been on Zoom or whatever method, the multiple methods there are, to communicate with her leaders, tell them exactly her perspective.

"And on that position, the leaders should have fronted."

Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson issued a statement a few days ago, saying they became aware of an allegation involving Ghahraman and the boutique on 27 December.

The silence was fuelling speculation, Te Pou said, and it was damaging the Green Party's brand as well as Ghahraman's.

"It looks from afar that there's trying to be suppression of the issue, where I think for the sake of Greens, for the sake of Golriz herself, the best disinfectant for all this is daylight."

Although the MP was overseas, there was little doubt that she knew the allegations had been made public, he said.

"No doubt she knows exactly what's happening in New Zealand, no doubt she knows the heightened korero around this, and I think she's in for a traumatic time when she returns.

"At the end of the day, politicians are human beings like all of us. Having said that, when you put your shingle up for politics, you've got to be robust, you've got to front."