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Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters on Golriz Ghahraman shoplifting accusations

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Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has offered his thoughts about the shoplifting accusations against, and resignation, of former Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman, calling it a “sad event”.

Peters, speaking to The Country, would not be drawn to answering whether he thought it was right for the embattled politician to cite mental health as a factor behind her alleged offending.

Police charged Ghahraman with two counts of shoplifting last Wednesday in relation to alleged incidents in December. She was set to appear in the Auckland District Court next month.

Ghahraman announced her resignation as a Member of Parliament last Tuesday, about 17 hours after a third shoplifting allegation surfaced and almost a week after the first accusation was made and she was initially stood down from her portfolios.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters speaks about Golriz Ghahraman's shoplifting accusations: 'Frankly, when all is said and done, I hope whatever the problem is, she gets over it'. Photo / Dean Purcell
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters speaks about Golriz Ghahraman’s shoplifting accusations: ‘Frankly, when all is said and done, I hope whatever the problem is, she gets over it’. Photo / Dean Purcell

When she announced her resignation, Ghahraman offered an explanation about why she “act[ed] in ways that are completely out of character”, saying: “It is clear to me that my mental health is being badly affected by the stresses relating to my work.”

Following her comments, different political commentators and politicians have spoken about the stresses involved in politics and whether this should be accepted.

Peters said today: “You know, we can all line up and be judgemental,- and it is a crime, if that is what is proven, it still has to go before the court, but in the end, it’s a sad event.

“Certainly, [it is sad] not only for the former MP involved but also for the image of politics in New Zealand. So others might be cheering from the sidelines about this, but I am not. I just think it’s disappointing for our country and for her personally.

Golriz Ghahraman. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Golriz Ghahraman. Photo / Mark Mitchell

“And frankly, when all is said and done, I hope whatever the problem is, she gets over it,” he said, referring to Ghahraman.

‘Do female politicians get a much harder row?’ – Peters answers

When Peters was questioned about whether women in politics had a harder time, he said: “Well, this is the claim that [some people] make without really realising how the exact same thing has happened to everybody else in politics over the years.

“If you saw some of the correspondence, or the calls, or the significantly nutty statements people make about you, you would give up. But the fact is, the world is full of trolls and you’ve got to get on with the job – not ‘harden up’ – but get on with it and ignore them.”

Raphael Franks is an Auckland-based reporter who covers breaking news. He joined the Herald as a Te Rito cadet in 2022.



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