Green MP Golriz Gharahman today announced she is quitting politics immediately, in the wake of shoplifting claims made against her.

The allegations first hit the headlines last week. Today, she and the party announced she was resigning, effective immediately.

Here is what they had to say:

Statement from Golriz Ghahraman

“It is a great honour to serve as a Member of Parliament. I am proud of my advocacy work on human rights and foreign affairs, and particularly proud of campaigns that resulted in practical improvements to the electoral laws governing donations and overseas voting.

“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.

“People should, rightly, expect the highest standards of behaviour from their elected representatives. I fell short. 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. The mental health professional I see says my recent behaviour is consistent with recent events giving rise to extreme stress response, and relating to previously unrecognised trauma.

“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 and to find other ways to work for positive change in the world.

“I will therefore be resigning from Parliament immediately.

“I want to thank the many communities and people who have supported me over the years. I will continue to work with and to advocate for those communities however I can, as best I can.

“I also want to especially thank Scotties Boutique for the kindness and empathy they have shown me.

“I now ask for people to give me the space and privacy I need to get better. I won’t be commenting further at this time.”

Statement from Green Party co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw

“Golriz Ghahraman has been the leading voice in Parliament for human rights, truly independent foreign policy, and electoral reform for six years. Her political achievements are significant.

“Green MPs are expected to maintain high standards of public behaviour.

“It is clear to us that Ms Ghahraman is in a state of extreme distress. She has taken responsibility and apologised. We support the decision she has made to resign.

“We are deeply sorry to see Ms Ghahraman leave under these circumstances and we wish her all the best for the future.

“Ms Ghahraman has worked tirelessly on behalf of her communities. Nothing detracts from that work and we know she will continue to support those communities in the future.

“We cannot comment on the details of allegations while Police investigations are ongoing.

“The Green Party is a movement of thousands of people working for people and planet and that work continues.”

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