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 Advisor 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 Ōtākaro Limited (which delivers the Crown-led anchor projects in Christchurch), Chorus Limited (providing the country’s telecommunications infrastructure (fibre and copper) 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, including reviewing in 2015 the Accident Compensation Corporation’s dispute reduction processes.

She has also served on many 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 – 28 November 2023


  • Miriam Dean (Chair)
  • John Hardie (Advisor, Internal Disputes Resolution)
  • Emily Walton (Independent Lawyer)
  • Edward Butler (Solicitor, MBIE)
  • Robert Vincent and Stephen Campbell (Community Law Canterbury)
  • Gina Ronald (Engineering New Zealand)

In attendance

  • Darren Wright (Director, NZCRS)
  • Kirsty Hamilton (Principal Advisor, NZCRS)
  • Susan Rolton (Support Team Leader, NZCRS)
  • Evan Martin (Senior Advisor, MBIE)


  • Chris Boys (CEIT Chair)
  • Paul Kirby (Engineering NZ)
  • Vanessa Howell (Crown Law)