Legal Advisory Group

The Legal Advisory Group provides advice to the New Zealand Claims Resolution Service (NZCRS) on legal issues, recommends system improvements and supports engagement with stakeholders and interest groups within the legal community. It also oversees the mediation and determination services available to Canterbury earthquake claimants.

Terms of Reference


The Legal Advisory Group is chaired by Miriam Dean KC and convened on an adhoc basis as required.

Chair – Miriam Dean CNZM KC

Miriam’s many years of experience in dispute resolution, review work and governance allow her to take on the most difficult and diverse issues. She is a King’s Counsel; a director of  Rau Paenga Limited (which supports the delivery of infrastructure for Crown agencies), Chorus Limited (providing the country’s telecommunications infrastructure nationwide), REINZ – Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (a membership organisation representing real estate professionals nationwide) and chair of the Banking Ombudsman Scheme (an approved body to resolve complaints between banks and customers); and has led many government and private reviews.

She also serves on other governing advisory boards or committees including as a member of the Department of Internal Affairs Advisory Board. Miriam played a leading role in setting up the internal dispute resolution processes of the Greater Christchurch Earthquakes Claims Resolution Service and those of the now wider and national New Zealand Claims Resolution Service.

Latest meeting minutes – 7 May 2024


  • Miriam Dean (Chair)
  • Vanessa Howell (Crown Law)
  • Emily Walton (Independent Lawyer)
  • Gina Ronald (Engineering NZ)

In attendance

  • Chris Boys (Chair, Canterbury Earthquake Insurance Tribunal)
  • Robert Vincent and Stephen Campbell (Community Law Canterbury)
  • Victoria Wood (Community Law)
  • Edward Butler (Solicitor, MBIE)
  • Darren Wright (Director, NZCRS)
  • Kirsty Hamilton (Principal Advisor Insurance Claims, NZCRS)
  • Susan Rolton (Team Leader Support, NZCRS)


  • John Hardie (Advisor, Internal Disputes Resolution)
  • Paul Kirby (General Manager Regulation and General Counsel, Engineering New Zealand)