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Maria was appointed Queens Counsel in November 2018. She specialises in employment law, human rights, health and safety and professional misconduct matters. Maria acts for a wide range of employers and senior employees including in the government, energy, finance, insurance and screen production sectors and within the legal profession.

Education

  • LLB - University of Otago, 1987
  • LLM - University of Victoria, 1999

Bio

Maria was appointed Queens Counsel in November 2018. She specialises in employment law, human rights, health and safety and professional misconduct matters. Maria acts for a wide range of employers and senior employees including in the government, energy, finance, insurance and screen production sectors and within the legal profession.

In recent years, Maria has gained a strong reputation as independent counsel appointed to conduct investigations, reviews and inquiries into allegations of misconduct in complex and sensitive cases. These appointments have included investigations for the State Services Commissioner, the New Zealand Labour Party, various District Health Boards, Hockey New Zealand, the Royal Commission into Abuse in State and Faith Based Care, the Ministry of Justice and a variety of private sector companies.

Since 2013, Maria has served as a Deputy Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.

In 2019, Maria was appointed to the panel of prosecutors for the New Zealand Law Society on professional misconduct matters.

Maria also acts as a Mediator previously accredited through LEADR and AMINZ, receiving the 2014 LEADR Mediator of the Year Award and featuring in the LawFuel Top 10 Mediators in 2019.

Work Highlights

2020 Independent Review for Lyttleton Port Company

Review of workplace culture following allegations of harrassment and discrimination

2019 New Zealand Labour Party 
Investigation Appointment Investigation into alleged misconduct of a Member of the New Zealand Labour Party, involving allegations made by young members of the Labour Party against a male.

2019 State Services Commission Investigation Appointment 
Investigation into the conduct of the former Retirement Commissioner, a crown entity organisation operating the Commission for Financial Capability.

2018 Dame Margaret Bazley Review into Russell McVeagh
Appointed as counsel acting for a key participant, (female lawyer. The Dame Margaret Bazley report has been instrumental in prompting change to the culture of New Zealand law firms and has had implications for the regulation and conduct legal profession more generally.

2018 Waikato District Health Board

Investigation into conduct of former Chief Executive Officer.

2018 Hockey New Zealand, Review of Black Sticks Womens’ Team Environment 
Appointed to review the national womens sports team environment following allegations made by past and current female players.

2016-2018 Historical Abuse in State Case – High Court and Court of Appeal of New Zealand 
Acting as defence counsel with Paul Wicks QC for a charitable entity, defending a civil claim of abuse while in state care.

2016 Employment Law - New Zealand Police 
A v Commissioner of Police, September 2016, AEA 5640257. Counsel for senior female officer in a personal grievance claim for discrimination and disadvantage. The case involved sensitive police homicide investigation matters which required non-publication and media orders. The proceeding settled prior to a substantive hearing. Successful outcome with plaintiff remaining with Police."

What Others Say

Publications

  • Jurisdictional issues: What’s in, what’s out ? - the Employment Jurisdiction, ADLS Seminar 2020

  • It’s OK to talk about this – Mental Health and Harassment in the Workplace, NZLS Employment Law Conference 2018

  • Drafting Better Pleadings – NZLS Employment Law Conference 2018.

  • NZLS Employment Law Update Seminar 2017

  • Sexual experience and reputation evidence in civil sexual harassment claims, Maria Dew and Christina Laing, NZ LawTalk 2017

  • Equal Pay; Where is it at? New Zealand Law Talk 2017

  • International commercial mediation under the spotlight at UNICTRAL; Maria Dew and Nina Khouri, 2016, NZ Law Journal, 2016 (Part 1) and 2017 (Part 2).

  • Litigation Strategies, Michael Ring QC, Maria Dew and Damian Chesterman, NZ Bar Association, 2016.

  • Restraints of Trade in commercial and employment contexts, Greg Blanchard and Maria Dew, ADLS Seminar 2015.

  • A new era for the Cook Islands: Employment Relations Act 2012, Cook Islands Law Society, 2015.

  • The rise and rise of Independent Investigations, Maria Dew, Legalwise Seminar, 2014

  • Getting the information you need to win your case, NZLS Employment Law Conference 2012

  • Settling Disputes, Maria Dew, ADLS Employment Law Conference 2011

  • Restraints of Trade and High Court Rules Update, ADLS Employment Law Conference 2009

Memberships

  • New Zealand Law Society, Convenor of National Employment Law Committee
  • Deputy Chair, HEalth Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal
  • New Zealand Bar Association, Chair Access to Justice Committee and former Council Member;
  • Auckland District Law Society, Employment Law Committee.