Golriz Ghahraman update: Cough-cough – about my whole ‘this is a political screw up by the Greens’


So to date, my argument has been that this entire Golriz Ghahraman fiasco  has been a political mismanagement by a Political Party that has no tacticians inside it.

I’ve listed their mis-steps and pointed out that this is the 3rd election they have gone backwards in.

The Greens sold her back story as an International Human Rights Lawyer who defended the oppressed…

“Golriz has lived and worked in Africa, The Hague and Cambodia putting on trial world leaders for abusing their power, and restoring communities after war and human rights atrocities, particularly empowering women engaged in peace and justice initiatives.”

…when the reality was she was defending the oppressors and this difference of perception could have been dealt with and handled if the Greens had anyone inside there who could play 2 moves ahead.

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There has been an awful amount of denouncing me and my suggestion that this has been a terrible political mismanagement.


Seems the Leader of the Greens also bought into their incorrect back story as well…

James Shaw takes rap for misrepresenting Golriz Ghahraman in speech
Green Party co-leader James Shaw is taking responsibility for a speech he gave in May in which he mistakenly said that Golriz Ghahraman had worked as a prosecutor at UN tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.

The admission is the latest in a week in which Ghahraman’s work history and how it has been presented is under intense scrutiny.

…right, so the Greens did present a back story that sold her as the defender of the oppressed when she was in fact defending the oppressors.

Just like I said.

The attempt by Newshub to claim Golriz was open ‘5 times’ also needs some scrutiny.

The NZ Herald, the NZ Herald again (but it apparently didn’t make the final edit)…

Vice, her Linked in Profile and the NZ Law Magazine

4 of those supposed open moments never actually mention “I defended war criminals”, they talk about being part of ‘Defence Teams’. Kirsty Johnston probably didn’t get much of her story published because it wasn’t headlined, “I defended war criminals”.

AGAIN – there is NOTHING WRONG with defending war criminals! But she was sold as defending the oppressed – EVEN JAMES SHAW SAID THAT.

The Guardian said that.

Other interviews reported the same. The only article that gets close to acknowledging that is the NZ Law Magazine.

Look, I like Golriz, I vote Green, I supported Metiria’s brave admission and I honestly hand on heart believe Green policy is the best for NZ – what I can’t support is the incompetent political mis-management that has seen the Party continue to go backwards at the ballot box for almost a decade!

This. Was. All. Needless.






  1. Playing by other people’s rules is never going to win the game. The opposition will just find something else on her or someone else. I could be hung 100 times over, at least, for my facebook posts if I ever tried to stand for Parliament. If you can get hung, drawn and quartered for not even breaking any law, and actually upholding it, then what hope is there. Why pretend we have a democracy and not a dictatorship of manipulated public opinion.

  2. Looking at this as a game of chess, Golriz was damned if she did and damned if she didn’t. Given the reaction she has gotten for having defended the accused, she was quite right to not to play it up. Now she is being damned for not playing it up. In other words, Golriz, one way or another, was not going to be accepted as suitable to be a Member of Parliament by many New Zealanders. What does that say about our democracy?

    • Yes the master nasty minds that construst nationals war chest of “dirty tricks” was at play here simople as that.

      I remember Winston last time they tripped up, saying “who the hell is their political adivsor” as he was shocked the Co-leader Metiria dropped the Cheating WINZ thing, they needed a proper “stategist” and I am sure Winston would have assisted them had he been invited, as Winston has repeated since then he has no issues with the green party and he get along fine with the leader now and said he had never said a bad word about them or James Shaw.

      Greens need to cool it and settle down with the coalition as we have many things to fix in NZ going forward.

    • Her problem was/is that she and the greens allowed a misleading story about her role as an international human rights lawyer to take root in the minds of the public.

      Even though she, apparently, did paint a more accurate picture of her activities as an international human rights lawyer in some interviews; it was by comparison low key and the message didn’t ‘land’ with the intended audiences.

      At the same time the misleading messages kept on getting the headlines and reinforced the perception that she was doing heroic things in prosecuting war criminals.

      How glamorous is that; how heroic, how cool and how alluring to a gullible green party hungry to welcome aboard such ‘talent’

    • Id say our democracy is still quite healthy if our journalists,bloggers or whoever can uncover and bring to public attention uncomfortable truths politicians or people of power would rather conceal.

  3. Better the Greens get their shit together now, than go down below 5% next election. They need to learn from labour’s previous mistakes and learn to listen to their voters and not just get encapsulated by individual’s MP’s becoming the news, internal groupthink, trivia (red peak) and what they think are good policy ideas but voters are not interested or excited by and look wider, think bigger. Shock, gasp – Pakeha NZ is 65% of NZ, they need to start to woo that instead of identity politics. For gods sake most of the Greens are white middle class – own it and stop pretending to be something they are not for identity politics reasons. Labour have all the Maori seats.

    If Greens (and Labour) get it right now, then 3 years by now they will have things that they achieved that are hopefully big and meaningful things for a large amount of people say fresh clean water, ocean clean up and prevention of overfishing and slave labour, scientific research on droughts and floods and real help for agriculture & water (Swales for example), clever and fair taxation and not just more taxes for locals. Greens need to think outside the box.

    There is a beat up on Golriz but they should use it for good. She and all the other Green MP’s needs to prove that they are a good representative for Kiwis as MP’s so they are not resting on previous Green reputations – then the critics will not have a leg to stand on.

    • 100% savenz

      excellent words,

      As we have a vicious national party still there, looking for blood as they feel so cheated!!!!!!

      Sorry sods.

      Greens need to grow up and jion the coalition, as we all need to work togehter NOW.

  4. I’m with you, Marty – National would have never made this mistake. As seasoned political professionals, National would be a strong and stable government. Unfortunately, we instead have Greens, communists and careerists pretending to be humanitarians. I think you would be well suited Marty to join us in the blue-green movement. You clearly appreciate the discipline of right-hand thinking politics while wanting to advocate for trees etc.

    The Greens are so earnest! I love that they are being pegged back by sharp thinking political commenters like Farrar and Mike Hoskins

    • I think you would be well suited Marty to join us in the blue-green movement. You clearly appreciate the discipline of right-hand thinking politics while wanting to advocate for trees etc.

      Cool! Do I get an invite as well? And a pretty blue-green button?

  5. Amazing the media are prosecuting her yet remain silent about this country’s criminals who governed this country for nine years and are STILL getting away with it.

    What a bloody joke.

    And yes Martyn i voted Green and i am proud i did and i agree the whole government needs some severe media training.

    This is one hell of a hostile right wing environment left unchecked.

    The UK is no better.


  6. Does anyone else wonder if her clients could demand a retrial on the basis that their court appointed legal representative has been shown to be overtly politically opposed to them.

  7. Golriz Ghahraman did not “defend war criminals” or “defend the oppressor.” As a lawyer, she helped her team
    defend somebody who was *charged* with war crimes, ie the defendant; who is meant to be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty (and indeed was found not guilty of all but one of the charges). At no point did she ever defend the actual crimes, or defend anybody for doing so. Her role in the defence came to light in October because she drew attention to it in the media, even though it had already been on her cv on Linked In and even though she had already told reporters about it weeks before.

  8. There has been an awful amount of denouncing me and my suggestion that this has been a terrible political mismanagement.

    Hopefully most folk will see your criticism in a constructive light, Martyn.

    There is a fundamental difference between criticism from a comrade, meant to overcome obstacles and strengthen – and that from someone who wishes ill will.

    Personally, I’d rather hear the criticism from you (or Chris Trotter and others), than David Farrar, Cameron Slater, et al.

  9. We have to realise that the Nats will be brutal in dissecting CVs, past history, and past statements.

    We know the Nats are dirty, but they are hypocrites by demanding everyone else live up to a standard they themselves can’t come within miles of attaining.

    Unfortunately, it makes for good sensationalist headlines.

    Good analysis from you, Martyn. The Left must be more careful, and like Caesar’s wife, be above reproach.

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