Watch: NZ's first refugee MP Golriz Ghahraman told she should have been left to die - 'some called for rifles to be loaded'

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New Zealand’s first refugee MP Golriz Ghahraman has used her maiden speech to hit out at those who told her she has no place in Parliament. 

The Green Party MP says she has been told she should have been left to die and that she has no right to take part in public life because she was not born in New Zealand. 

She spoke of "those who tell me every day that I don't belong here, that I should go home where I came from, that I should have been left to die, that I have not right to criticise any politician in this country or take part in public life because this isn't my home. 

“Some of them call for rifles to be loaded, it gets frightening," she said. 

"I'm numb to it because that actually is the reality for those of us in this country from minority backgrounds if we do stand up and become visible," Ms Ghahraman said.

Ms Ghahraman fled to New Zealand from Iran with her family as political refugees in 1990 when she was aged nine.

She entered Parliament as a list MP after the Greens' party vote increased slightly with special votes.

She has a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law from the University of Oxford and has worked as a lawyer for the United Nations, and in New Zealand.

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