New Zealand Law Society - Queen's Counsel to investigate Retirement Commissioner bullying allegations

Queen's Counsel to investigate Retirement Commissioner bullying allegations

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Auckland Queen's Counsel Maria Dew QC has been appointed to investigate allegations of bullying by the Retirement Commissioner, Diane Maxwell.

Photo of Maria Dew QC
Maria Dew QC. 

The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs requested that the State Services Commission investigate the allegations, using the Commissioner's powers and functions under sections 6 to 10 of the State Sector Act 1988.

Ms Dew specialises in employment law and is leading the independent review into the culture of the New Zealand women’s hockey team.  Since 2013 she has been the Deputy Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

She is convenor of the New Zealand Law Society's Employment Law Committee and in 2017 she was elected to the Council of the New Zealand Bar Association.  Earlier in her career Ms Dew was in-house counsel in employment law for the Bank of New Zealand.

State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes says Ms Dew will investigate and report on:

  • Whether allegations that Ms Maxwell bullied current or former staff of the Retirement Commissioner can be substantiated; 
  • Whether Ms Maxwell provided working conditions that were free from bullying, and the Commission for Financial Capability had systems and policies in place to support the management of staff concerns or complaints; and
  • Any other relevant matters arising, or which are necessary to provide a complete report.

The terms of reference are available here. Mr Hughes has asked for a report by 28 February 2019.