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New Zealand MP resigns following shoplifting allegations

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A New Zealand MP has resigned following multiple allegations of shoplifting, which police are investigating

Golriz Ghahraman, of the Green Party, is alleged to have stolen three times from two clothing stores – one in Auckland and the other in Wellington.

The former UN human rights lawyer made history in 2017 as the first refugee in the country’s government. She once held her party’s justice portfolio.

Work-related stress made her behave completely out of character, she said.

“I have let down a lot of people and I am very sorry,” she added.

Ms Ghahraman fled Iran as a child with her family, who were all granted political asylum in New Zealand.

Her resignation on Tuesday comes after CCTV footage emerged showing her allegedly taking a designer handbag from an Auckland boutique.

The 42-year-old, who has not been charged with any crime, said in a statement her actions had “fallen short” of the high standards of behaviour the public expected from elected representatives.

“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, adding that she did not want to make excuses for herself.

“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.”

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