8 Oct 2017

Meet the country's newest MPs

9:32 am on 8 October 2017

A women's refuge manager and a former refugee turned barrister are the latest additions to Parliament after the final election results.

Golriz Ghahraman

Golriz Ghahraman Photo: supplied

The Labour Party's newest addition Angie Warren-Clark, the manager of Tauranga's Women's Refuge, said it was a nerve-wracking wait and "it was almost like time slowed down."

"It was a wonderful wonderful piece of news.

"Of course my first phone call was from Jacinda [Ardern] to congratulate me so that was just lovely."

Labour MP Angela Warren-Clark

Labour MP Angela Warren-Clark Photo: Facebook

Ms Warren-Clark's addition means the Labour Party now has 46 MPs and the Green Party's new MP Golriz Ghahraman has brought its count to eight.

Ms Ghahraman said the election had been a "rollercoaster" for candidates across the political spectrum.

Ms Ghahraman, a human rights lawyer, came to New Zealand as a nine-year-old asylum seeker after fleeing war-torn Iran. She said joining the House of Representatives in a democratic society showed just how far she had come as well as society.

"If that means that people in New Zealand and around the world feel more able to participate in their communities and rise to leadership roles and see diversity as a strength, then I think some of that change is already happening."

People had contacted her from around the world - the US, UK and Australia - as well as people with migrant and refugee backgrounds in Aotearoa, she said.

"I realise I carry a huge burden of responsibility but it's such an honour, it's just so humbling to stand as a counterpoint to the politics of hate and division that have really affected people with similar backgrounds to myself."

Ms Warren-Clark said she was also bringing her responsibilities and expertise into Parliament.

"The completely shameful statistic of one in three women in this country affected by violence in their lifetime is something that I absolutely will carry with me," she said.

Ms Warren Clark said she was reminded of the stories from women and children she had met during her time at the women's refuge.

"I am a feminist woman and have been all my life so gender issues are a part of who I am."

She said it was important she stood up for issues facing women and addressed child poverty.

"When you work at [women's] refuge you never leave the organisation so I will carry, as I say, those stories with me across all this work that I do in Parliament."

Ms Ghahraman said she wanted to end poverty and see real action on climate change.

"Whether that's nature or whether that's our vulnerable people we haven't been taking care of those for a while now ... I want to get back to it."

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