Former Wellington mayor Celia Wade-Brown will replace Golriz Ghahraman in Parliament as the next person named on the Green Party list.
Ghahraman has resigned after multiple shoplifting allegations were made against her. The now-former MP and human rights lawyer has been in Parliament since 2017.
Wade-Brown will now replace Ghahraman as a result of her resignation. The Wellington-based political figure has long been a prominent face in local politics in the capital.
Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said Wade-Brown is “going to rock the place”.
“I’ve particularly noted her ongoing priorities around Tiriti justice, equality, and making sure that everyone has what they need to live dignified lives,” Davidson said.
“These are all kaupapa that are core to our to our heart. We welcome her and obviously regret the sad circumstances of her entry.
“But I know she’s going to rock the place. She’s going to do her utmost best, especially to honour our colleague who we are losing today.”
Party co-leader James Shaw said he wasn’t sure of when she would be sworn in, but said he believed Wade-Brown would be a “great MP”.
“Celia is a very, very experienced politician. She’s won seven elections during the course of her career, of course, two of those as mayor of Wellington,” he said.
“She brings a long history of public service and a very practical understanding of the challenges that are faced in our urban environments, particularly around transport and housing. She’ll be a great MP and we’re looking forward to having her on board.”
Who is Celia Wade-Brown?
Wade-Brown has previously occupied spaces on the Green Party list in several elections since 1999.
She first became a Wellington City councillor in 1994. Celia-Wade served as a councillor for the Southern ward from 1994 to 1998, and between 2001 and 2010.
In 2010, she successfully ran to become Wellington Mayor, beating a centre-right incumbent by only 176 votes. She was re-elected three years later but chose not to run again in 2016. Labour-aligned candidate Justin Lester succeeded her as mayor.
Over her two terms as mayor, she supported substantial increases to cycleway funding and opposed the construction of the Basin Reserve flyover.
As a result of Ghahraman’s resignation, two out of the three most recent former mayors of Wellington will now occupy seats in Parliament, with MP Andy Foster having been elected from New Zealand First’s list at last year’s election.
Green Party city councillor Tamatha Paul was also elected as Wellington Central MP at the election, which has triggered a closely-watched by-election in her council ward.
If another Green MP were to leave Parliament before the next election, the next names on the party’s list include party convenor Lawrence Xu-Nan and climate policy advisor Francisco Hernandez.