Golriz Ghahraman: Dramatic development after rising Greens star was allegedly caught stealing a luxury handbag on camera forcing her to resign from New Zealand Parliament

A former New Zealand Green Party MP has been charged with two counts of shoplifting after she was allegedly caught stealing a designer handbag.

Golriz Ghahraman was charged by New Zealand police on Wednesday, just hours after announcing her resignation from parliament.

“Today a 43-year-old woman was 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 which are alleged to have occurred on December 21 and 23, 2023.”

Ms Ghahraman, who previously held the small party’s Justice portfolio, was filmed on December 23 allegedly stealing a luxury handbag from Scotties Boutique, where she allegedly shoplifted twice.

The handbag she allegedly stole is a gray Issey Miyake, which ranges from around $274 and goes up to almost $1,600.

One of Mrs. Ghahraman’s neighbors told me NZ Herald that police visited her Gray Lynn home in Auckland on Wednesday and left with a large paper bag.

She appeared dejected as she greeted five officers at her gate, but smiled as she introduced herself, another onlooker said.

Ms Ghahraman was the first refugee elected to New Zealand’s parliament after arriving with her family from Iran as a child

After meeting with Green Party leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson on Tuesday, Ms Ghahraman resigned from New Zealand’s parliament.

She said her behavior was “out of character” and was motivated by the stress of the office which had caused “previously unrecognized trauma”.

“It is clear to me that my mental health is being seriously affected by the stress associated with my work,” she said.

‘This has caused me to act in ways that are completely out of character. I’m not trying to excuse my actions, but I do want to explain them.”

Ms Ghahraman went on to say she “failed” to meet the “highest standards of behavior” people expect from elected representatives.

“It is not a behavior that I can explain because it is not rational in any way, and after medical evaluation I understand that I am not doing well,” she said.

“The mental health professional I am seeing says my recent behavior is consistent with recent events that triggered extreme stress responses and is related to previously unrecognized trauma.

‘With that in mind, I will not hide behind my mental health issues and I take full responsibility for my actions, which I deeply regret.

‘I’ve let a lot of people down and I’m very sorry for that. The best thing for my mental health is to resign as an MP and focus on my recovery and finding other ways to work for positive change in the world.”

Ms Ghahraman (pictured) has been charged with two counts of shoplifting

Ms Ghahraman (pictured) has been charged with two counts of shoplifting

Video shows Ms Ghahraman allegedly stealing a designer handbag from the boutique

Video shows Ms Ghahraman allegedly stealing a designer handbag from the boutique

It comes as Melanie Smith, the owner of Wellington gift shop Cre8iveworx, wrote in an email that she had lodged a police complaint against Ms Ghahraman.

Police have confirmed they are investigating three alleged shoplifting incidents.

Mr Shaw and Ms Davidson told New Zealand media on Tuesday that they supported Ms Ghahraman’s decision to resign and that she was facing tensions beyond the norm for MPs.

“It is clear that Parliament is a stressful place for everyone, but Ghahraman has been subject to ongoing threats of sexual violence, physical violence and death threats,” Shaw said.

Ms Ghahraman, a former UN human rights lawyer, was the first refugee to be sworn in as a New Zealand MP after arriving in the country as an asylum seeker from Iran.

She was selected as the Green Party candidate in January 2017.

Ms Ghahraman will appear in Auckland District Court on February 1.