Ten things you need to know about Golriz Ghahraman
Video: Highlights from Newshub's Facebook live with Golriz Ghahraman
Golriz Ghahraman is sitting at number ten on the Green Party's candidate list for the upcoming election - that means she's almost guaranteed to get a seat in Parliament. Here's ten things you need to know about the rising politician.
1 She gets accusations about terrorism directed at her
Ms Ghahraman is no stranger to vile comments. "The comments that I get, they don't surprise me so much as I think they surprise my friends and family," she says. Some of the hate she gets includes people saying things like "there's going to be a terrorist in New Zealand's Parliament" and "you can't have gone to Oxford, you're a refugee." She has this response for the latter insult: "No I worked my ass off, that's how I got to Oxford. That's how a refugee gets there."
2 She's a former refugee, and fled Iran with her family without telling anyone
She arrived in New Zealand when she was nine years old, and left Iran with her family not telling anyone that they were leaving forever. "We essentially escaped one of the most oppressive regimes in probably modern history, which is the Islamic Republic of Iran and the repression was just a backdrop to a very bloody war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq," she says.
3 She's a lawyer and has worked for the United Nations
She has been a human rights and constitutional lawyer for twelve years, and has worked and lived in Africa, The Hague and Cambodia. In New Zealand she's advocated for people's rights before the Supreme Courts.
4 She's not a hippie and doesn't wear weird sandals
Despite the perception of the Greens being hemp-wearing, marijuana-smoking sandal wearers, Ms Ghahraman says she doesn't own a pair of Teva sandals, and she thinks that the party has changed. She says "to me the Green party is the most Kiwi of all the political parties."
5 She has a vivid memory of the moment she arrived in New Zealand
She says one of the most vivid memories she'll ever have is coming down the escalator at Auckland airport when her family first arrived. She remembers "Telling the first official people we saw that we were refugees, and they were so welcoming. It was just incredible, all they cared about was you know, are you hungry? Do you have plant products on you?"
6 She's dating comedian and television personality Guy Williams
Ms Ghahraman is off the market. Yeah we went there - we're just telling the people what they need to know. She confirmed the rumours about her romantic connection to comedian Guy Williams.
7 She has a Masters degree from Oxford University
After getting her Bachelor of Arts and Law Degree at the University of Auckland, she went to Oxford to gain her Masters in International Human Rights Law, with distinction.
8 She's not good at everything
Ms Ghahraman says she's not good at maths and probably cooking. She says she will work on the list of things she's terrible at for us.
9 She says the Greens are the only party she wanted to be part of
For Ghahraman, it was always going to be the Greens. She says the party shares her values. "Our priorities are of course the existential threat of climate change as well as inequality which is on the rise, against all odds. This isn't to me a culture where something like inequality should be on the rise, we can actually provide for everyone here and that is the Kiwi way."
10 She's going to become New Zealand's first ever former refugee MP
She's almost certain to get into Parliament after the election, meaning that she will become New Zealand's first ever refugee MP.