Maria is a senior litigator specialising in employment law. She was appointed Queens Counsel in November 2018.
Maria acts for both employers and senior employees in a wide range of cases including urgent injunctions and search orders, collective bargaining matters, disciplinary investigations, grievance actions, equal pay, privacy and health and safety matters. She currently serves as the Convenor of the New Zealand Law Society Employment Law Committee, assisting in submissions on employment law reform.
In recent years, Maria has gained a strong reputation as independent counsel appointed to conduct investigations into allegations of serious misconduct in complex and sensitive cases. These have included investigations for the State Services Commissioner, the New Zealand Labour Party, the Waikato District Health Board (former CEO investigation), Hockey New Zealand, the Auckland District Health Board, New Zealand Fire Service, Ministry of Justice and a variety of private sector companies.
In addition to her employment law practice, Maria acts as counsel in a range of civil litigation before the courts and tribunals including in historical abuse claims and lawyers professional misconduct matters.
Since 2013, Maria has been the Deputy Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal. In 2017, Maria was appointed Chair of the AMINZ Complaints Committee, which sits and determines complaints against mediator and arbitrator members of AMINZ. Maria is also an AMINZ certified mediator and in 2014 was awarded the New Zealand Law Awards “Mediator of the Year”.
Recent and notable cases
- Independent counsel for a party in the 2018, Dame Margaret Bazley, Russell McVeagh Review and matters arising.
- Avondale College Board of Trustees v Maday, Employment Court, 2018, instruction to defend senior teacher in challenge to the teacher’s successful employment grievance.
- TexOnsite v Hill  NZERA, Auckland 25 and Hill v TexOnsite  NZEmpC 73 – counsel for employer in urgent summons action to recover and search computers and claim for damages for breaches of confidentiality and restraint of trade.
- Independent opinion advice on collective bargaining issues to large corporate entities and acting as counsel for the Qantas Employees Collective Incorporated, a private registered union for Qantas employees.
- A v Commissioner of Police, AEA 5640257, September 2016 – counsel for senior female officer in a claim of discrimination and disadvantage.
- Fox v T & T Fashions Ltd , ERA 552506, April 2015, – counsel for plaintiff in Equal Pay Act and discrimination claim in retail sector. Matter resolved confidentiality immediately after hearing.
- Appearing in two long running cases as counsel with Paul Wicks QC for a charitable entity defendant in separate High Court civil historical abuse cases, Anderson & Ors v Hawke & A Facility Owner (Auckland, six plaintiffs) and X v Attorney-General & YFT (Wellington, one plaintiff), from 2015 to 2017. X v Attorney-General & YFT  NZCA 475 and Anderson & Ors v Hawke & A Facility Owner  NZHC 1541, Heath J.
- Government Inquiry into escape of Philip Smith from Department of Corrections 2015, Hon. J Priestly QC , Chair – appearing as counsel for senior health professional employed with Corrections during period of escape and for same employee in A v Chief Executive of Department of Corrections, ERA 5563736, June 2015 – claim for reinstatement and unjustified dismissal.
- Acting as counsel on Cook Island employment matters, including on a solicitor’s restraint of trade and for a senior civil servant.
Qualifications and Career
Qualifications and Career
Maria graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Otago (LLB 1987) and a Masters in Law from the University of Victoria, Wellington (LLM 1999).
- It’s OK to talk about this – Mental Health and Harassment in the Workplace, Plenary Session, NZLS Employment Law Conference, Maria Dew and Hamish Kynaston, September 2018.
- Drafting Better Pleadings – Seminar, NZLS Employment Law Conference, Anne Toohey and Maria Dew, September 2018.
- NZLS Employment Law Update 2017 – Seminar, Maria Dew and Stephen Langton, November 2017.
- Litigation Strategies, Michael Ring QC, Maria Dew and Damian Chesterman, NZ Bar Association, Webinar, November 2016.
- Restraints of Trade in commercial and employment contexts, Greg Blanchard and Maria Dew, ADLS Seminar,December 2015.
- A new era for the Cook Islands: Employment Relations Act 2012, Maria Dew and Tim Arnold, Cook Islands Law Society Seminar, September 2015.
- The rise and rise of Independent Investigations, Maria Dew, Legalwise Seminar, November 2014.
- Getting the information you need to win your case, Maria Dew and Susan Hornsby–Geluk, NZLS Employment Law Conference 2012, Seminar and Webinar, March 2013.
- Settling Disputes, Maria Dew, ADLS Employment Law Conference June 2011.
- Restraints of Trade and High Court Rules Update, Andrew Schirnack and Maria Dew, ADLS Employment Law Conference, June 2009.
- Do we have a consistent approach? Sexual experience and reputation evidence in civil sexual harassment claims, Maria Dew and Christina Laing, NZ LawTalk, November 2017.
- Equal Pay; Where is it at? Maria Dew, New Zealand Law Talk, March 2017.
- International commercial mediation under the spotlight at UNICTRAL; Maria Dew and Nina Khouri, NZ Law Journal, September 2016 (Part1) and February 2017 (Part2).
- Confidentiality and privilege have been tested again before the Courts”, Maria Dew, NZ Lawyer issue 154 (25 February 2011).
- Employment Law Chapter, Maria Dew, ADLS Legal Practice Manual, 5th Edition, 2010.
Prior to becoming a barrister in June 2000, Maria worked in litigation roles in New Zealand and London, including:
- Morrison Kent, Solicitors, Wellington, Senior Associate;
- Bank of New Zealand, Wellington; Employment Law Team;
- United Kingdom Financial Services Regulator (FIMBRA), London, Prosecutor;
- Richard Butler, Solicitors, London, Construction Litigation; and
- Young Hunter & Co, Solicitors, Christchurch, Law Clerk and Solicitor.
- Convenor, New Zealand Law Society Employment Law Committee;
- Deputy Chair, Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal;
- Expert, Domain Names Commission Disputes Panel;
- Member of AMINZ (Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand);
- Chair of AMINZ Complaints Committee;
- Member of Auckland District Law Society Inc, Employment Law Committee;
- Council Member, New Zealand Bar Association (2017 to 2019);
- Member of Auckland Standards Committee No 3 New Zealand Law Society (2011-2013);
- Trustee, Remuera Primary School Development Trust (2010-2015);
- Board of Directors, Bankside Chambers (2008 – 2009).