|Golriz Ghahraman Quick Info
|5 ft 7 in
|Year of Birth
Golriz Ghahraman is an Iranian lawyer, author, and politician who became the first refugee elected to New Zealand’s Parliament.
She was born in 1981.
Auckland, North Island, New Zealand
Golriz Ghahraman studied at Auckland Girls’ Grammar School. Afterward, she enrolled at the University of Auckland and earned a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts in History.
After that, she received a Master of Studies (MSt) degree in International Human Rights Law with Distinction from the University of Oxford in Oxford, England.
Lawyer, Author, Politician
- Father – He was an agricultural engineer and worked for the Ministry of Agriculture on the research and development of plant-based alternative fuels in Iran.
- Mother – Maryam
5 ft 7 in or 170 cm
58 kg or 128 lbs
Boyfriend / Spouse
Golriz Ghahraman has dated –
- Guy Williams – She was in a romantic relationship with New Zealand comedian and television personality Guy Williams but the duo parted ways in late 2020.
Race / Ethnicity
She has described herself as “agnostic—some days I would say atheist”, noting that “It was important for me to get up and say I’m actually not religious at all, because the Middle East also has diversity within it”.
Golriz Ghahraman Facts
- Golriz uses she/her pronouns.
- Her father was Shia and her mother was a Kurdish Sunni but neither of the two was religious.
- Her mother’s field of study was child psychology but she was ethically opposed to “psychologists having to pledge allegiance to a religion” and therefore she refused to sit the Islamic examinations required for her to practice.
- After the end of the Iran–Iraq War, a 9-year-old Golriz and her family left Iran for Malaysia, reportedly for a holiday, in the year 1990. The family then had flights from Malaysia to Fiji, with a stopover in Auckland where they sought political asylum and were accepted as refugees.
- As the family settled in New Zealand, her parents set up a restaurant and a gift shop in Auckland.
- Golriz Ghahraman started legal practice in New Zealand and worked as a junior barrister specializing in criminal defense, describing it as “the most frontline human rights area of law you can work in practice in New Zealand; every day you are applying the Bill of Rights Act and you’re dealing with unlawful detention, searches, and discrimination.”
- As a lawyer for the United Nations, she was part of both the defense and prosecution teams with the tribunals in Rwanda, Cambodia, and The Hague.
- In January 2017, she was selected as a Green Party list candidate for the 2017 general election.
- Golriz Ghahraman contested Mount Roskill during the 2020 New Zealand election and was placed 3rd behind Labour’s Michael Wood and National’s Parmjeet Parmar.
- She revealed in June 2021 that she was getting her first Kurdish deq tattoos, stating, “I could not be more excited to help revive this beautiful indigenous tradition and connect with the incredible proud elders I remember wearing theirs back home. They represent a pre-Islamic culture of strength, nature and the night sky.”
- Responding to the October 2023 Gaza−Israel conflict, Golriz Ghahraman described the “scenes in Israel” as “heartbreaking.” She also stated, “Nothing justifies targeting or harming civilians. Palestinian armed groups and Israeli forces must make every effort to protect civilians now.”
- She was accused of shoplifting on multiple occasions and it was eventually confirmed on January 17, 2024, that she had been charged with two counts of shoplifting and that investigations into the allegations were continuing. She stated that a mental health evaluation has revealed that her behavior “is not rational in any way” because it is due to “an extreme stress response … relating to previously unrecognized trauma.”
- Golriz Ghahraman has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Featured Image by Green Party / greens.org.nz / CC BY-SA 4.0 DEED