James Shaw, Marama Davidson say ex-Green MP Golriz Ghahraman subject to 'continuous threats' since entering Parliament

  • 16/01/2024

Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson have detailed what they describe as "continuous threats" of violence against now-former MP, Golriz Ghahraman, in the wake of shoplifting allegations levelled against her. 

Until Tuesday, Shaw and Davidson had not fronted in person since the allegations against Ghahraman emerged last week. The allegations have since prompted her resignation. 

During a roughly half-hour press conference, the co-leaders expressed empathy for Ghahraman, who has said she was suffering from mental health issues. 

Shaw told reporters Ghahraman had been subject to "pretty much continuous threats of sexual violence, physical violence [and] death threats" since entering Parliament in 2017. 

While he emphasised Ghahraman wasn't using mental health as an excuse for her alleged behaviour, Shaw said the threats had added a "higher level of stress" to her job than most MPs were subject to. 

"That has meant, for example, there have been police investigations into those threats almost the entire time that she has been a member of Parliament," Shaw said. 

"Obviously, if you're living with that level of threat, in what is already quite a stressful situation, then there are going to be consequences for that." 

In a statement earlier on Tuesday, Ghahraman didn't confirm nor deny any allegations against her. She said it was "clear to me that my mental health is being badly affected by the stresses relating to my work". 

She said the mental health professional she was seeing believed her recent "behaviour is consistent with recent events giving rise to extreme stress response and relating to previously unrecognised trauma". 

Ghahraman, who first entered politics in 2017, stood aside from her portfolios last week after allegations emerged she had shoplifted from Scotties in the Auckland suburb of Ponsonby on December 23. 

Two more accusations have since emerged - including a second alleged incident at Scotties and a third at Wellington store Cre8iveworx. 

Shaw said Ghahraman had identified she was in a state of "extreme distress" but had taken responsibility for her actions and resigned. 

"This is the best course for her in terms of recovery," he added. "We support her decision. 

"Ultimately, Golriz is taking accountability for her actions; she's seeking medical help and she is in a state of extreme distress." 

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