|Current Position (s)||Member of Parliament|
|Party||Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand|
|Location||Te Atatu Electorate, Auckland, North Island, New Zealand|
Golriz Ghahraman MP (Persian: گلریز قهرمان; born 1981) is an Iranian-born New Zealand politician and member of Parliament. The former United Nations lawyer was a child asylum seeker, and became the first refugee elected to New Zealand’s Parliament.Ghahraman is a member of the New Zealand House of Representatives for the Green Party.
Ghahraman was born in Iran in 1981. Her family lived in Mashhad, Iran’s second largest city, where her father, an agricultural engineer, worked for the Ministry of Agriculture on the research and development of plant-based alternative fuels. Her mother studied as a child psychologist but was ethically opposed to “psychologists having to pledge allegiance to a religion” so refused to sit the Islamic examinations required for her to practice and never worked as such. Her father was Shia and her mother a Kurdish Sunni, though neither parent was religious. Ghahraman describes 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”.
In 1990, following the end of the Iran–Iraq War, nine-year old Ghahraman and her family left Iran for Malaysia, ostensibly for a holiday. From Malaysia they booked flights to Fiji, with a stopover in Auckland, where they sought political asylum and were accepted as refugees. Her parents later set up a restaurant and a gift shop in Auckland, and did not work in their earlier areas of expertise.