The resignation of Green Party MP Golriz Ghahraman in the wake of shoplifting accusations means that Wairarapa Green Party representative Celia Wade-Brown will enter Parliament as a list MP.
Ghahraman resigned yesterday after claims over the past week that she shoplifted from two stores on three occasions.
She said her actions had resulted from work stresses and were completely out of character.
“I am not trying to excuse my actions, but I do want to explain them,” Ghahraman said.
“People should, rightly, expect the highest standards of behaviour from their elected representatives.
“I fell short. I’m sorry.”
In a statement issued yesterday, Green Party co-leaders James Shaw and Marama Davidson said they were deeply sorry to see Ghahraman leave under these circumstances.
“Ms Ghahraman has worked tirelessly on behalf of her communities,” they said.
“Nothing detracts from that work, and we know she will continue to support those communities in the future.”
Addressing further questions yesterday, Davidson declared it a sad day.
“I’m losing a friend and a colleague I’ve worked with for many years.”
Despite the sad circumstances, Davidson said she believed Wade-Brown – also former mayor of Wellington – was “going to rock the place”.
“I’ve particularly noted her ongoing priorities around Tiriti justice and equality, making sure that everyone has what they need to live dignified lives,” Davidson said.
“These are all kaupapa [issues] that are core to our heart, and so we welcome her.”
Shaw agreed, noting Wade-Brown’s long history of public service and work on issues surrounding transport and housing in urban environments.
“Celia is a very experienced politician,” Shaw said.
“She’s won seven elections during the course of her career and, of course, two of those as mayor of Wellington.
“She’ll be a great MP, and we’re looking forward to having her on board.”
He said they had spoken to Wade-Brown, who was also sad at the set of circumstances.
Wade-Brown told Times-Age that she wasn’t taking questions at the time of print but would be issuing a statement today.