State Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has today announced the appointment of Ms Maria Dew QC to investigate allegations of bullying by the Retirement Commissioner, Ms Diane Maxwell.  

The Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs requested the 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, 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.

"I am very pleased to appoint Ms Dew," said Mr Hughes. "She is highly regarded, has a reputation for integrity and a thorough understanding of New Zealand employment law.”  

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.  

Ms Dew’s appointment is effective immediately.  

The Commissioner has asked for a report by 28 February 2019. 

Update:  The report date for the review of the Retirement Commissioner’s conduct and behaviour towards her staff has been extended from 28 February to the first week in April. This allows more time to speak with some people who have been unavailable in January.

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Media queries: Grahame Armstrong 021 940 457  

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