Human rights lawyer is first refugee to join Beehive

by Paolo Taruc11 Oct 2017
For the first time ever, the Beehive will welcome a refugee as a member of Parliament. Human rights lawyer Golriz Ghahraman of the Green Party has been confirmed to the position, following the release of 446,287 special votes over the weekend.

According the New Zealand Law Society, Ghahraman is also the seventh individual from the legal profession to join Parliament for the first time in this year’s elections. The Iranian-born barrister stood at eighth on the party list after she was bumped up several places in the run-up to the election.

“In a time of increasingly divisive politics around the world, Golriz’s election to our Parliament sends a strong message about the kind of country New Zealand is, and the values that the Green Party is proud to stand for – inclusiveness, open-heartedness, and optimism and hope for our future,” said Green Party co-leader James Shaw in a press release.

Ghahraman has 12 years of legal practice under her belt, including post-conflict trials of world leaders, and in New Zealand’s Supreme Court, her profile on the Greens’ website said. She studied at Oxford, and has also worked as a lawyer for the United Nations.

Another individual from the legal profession, Labour’s Angie Warren-Clark, was also awarded a seat in the Beehive. The Law Society said she has worked in Bay of Plenty for over a decade in the field of domestic violence. Warren-Clark was admitted to the Bar in 1998 but was a non-practising lawyer before the campaign started.

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