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Police charge former Green MP Golriz Ghahraman over shoplifting allegations

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Embattled former Greens MP Golriz Ghahraman has been charged by police with two counts of shoplifting.

“Today, a 43-year-old woman has been summonsed to appear in the Auckland District Court on two charges of shoplifting,” police said in a statement.

“These charges relate to incidents at a Ponsonby retailer that allegedly occurred on 21 and 23 December 2023.”

Ghahraman, 43, is expected to appear in the Auckland District Court on February 1.

”Police are continuing to investigate, but given matters are before the court we are limited in further comment,” police said.

Officers earlier talked with Ghahraman at her Grey Lynn home in Auckland today.

A neighbour across the road from her house told the Herald he had seen police “hanging out” on the street earlier today.

“Police can confirm we were at an Auckland address conducting enquiries as part of our ongoing investigation. We are not in a position to comment further at this time,” a police spokesperson told the Herald in a statement.

Police at the house of ex-Green MP Golriz Ghahraman yesterday. Photo / George Block
Police at the house of ex-Green MP Golriz Ghahraman yesterday. Photo / George Block

Ghahraman was seen greeting five police officers at the gate of her property this afternoon before going inside for four of the officers, Stuff reported.

“She looked forlorn but smiled at police when she introduced herself,” a Stuff reporter said.

Police also left Ghahraman’s home with a large paper bag, Stuff reported.

Former Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman on CCTV filmed inside the Scotties Boutique in Ponsonby.
Former Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman on CCTV filmed inside the Scotties Boutique in Ponsonby.

Yesterday, Ghahraman resigned as an MP and offered an explanation about why she “act[ed] in ways that are completely out of character”.

She made her announcement yesterday, 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.

It also came just after the Herald obtained security footage appearing to show Ghahraman at Scotties Boutique, the exclusive Ponsonby clothing store she is alleged to have shoplifted on two occasions, allegedly stealing a designer handbag.

Four hours after Ghahraman resigned and publicly apologised, two police detectives visited her Grey Lynn home yesterday, where they received no answer when they knocked on her door.

Police have confirmed they were investigating three alleged shoplifting incidents – two at Scotties from December and one from high-end Wellington store Cre8iveworx dating from October.

Ghahraman’s party leaders refused to comment on the allegations while the police investigations were ongoing, with co-leader James Shaw saying, “We don’t want to do the police’s job here. What is important is that she is taking responsibility.”

In a statement yesterday, Ghahraman said: “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 she “fell short” of the expectations of elected representatives.

“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 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. 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,” Ghahraman said.

She also thanked Scotties Boutique for the “kindness and empathy” it had shown her.

Shaw also confirmed Celia Wade-Brown, the former mayor of Wellington would take Ghahraman’s seat in Parliament.

Scotties Boutique located on Blake St in Ponsonby. Photo / Jason Oxenham
Scotties Boutique located on Blake St in Ponsonby. Photo / Jason Oxenham

The Green Party earlier said no other party members were involved in the alleged shoplifting incidents.

The first accusation surfaced last Wednesday, involving Scotties Boutique, where she allegedly shoplifted on December 23.

At the time, a Green Party spokesman said the party was aware of the allegation and had been in contact with the store to better understand the situation.

She was stood down from her justice, foreign affairs, defence, ethnic communities and trade portfolios.

The Herald later learned the party had known of the accusation four days after the incident allegedly happened.

The Herald reported a second shoplifting allegation, also involving Scotties Boutique, last Friday. The party earlier said it was made aware of the second accusation on January 5.



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