Inquiry and investigative work enables Miriam to use her combined skills to manage a team, identify core issues, marshal complex facts, report concisely and recommend creative but practical improvements.
Miriam’s review-related work is extensive:
- In 2020, Miriam conducted a confidential review of Weta Digital’s workplace culture following stories in the media alleging toxic behaviour at the company [https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/damning-review-into-weta-digital-calls-top-bottom-overhaul-companys-workplace-culture]. Seventeen recommendations were accepted.
- In 2020, Miriam led an extensive review of Auckland Council’s council-controlled organisations [https://www.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/about-auckland-council/how-auckland-council-works/council-controlled-organisations/Documents/CCO-review.pdf]. All recommendations were accepted.
- In 2019, Miriam led a review for the Department of Corrections into prisoners’ mail. This high-level review had to be completed in less than six weeks and resulted in 13 recommendations to the Department of Corrections to improve prisoner mail processes. All recommendations were accepted.
- In 2018-19, Miriam chaired the Government’s Electricity Price Review. This was a significant review that lasted 13 months and produced three reports, all delivered on time and within budget. The Government accepted 20 of the 32 recommendations for immediate action. The remaining 12 are under active consideration. (In 2009, Miriam was also a member of the Independent Electricity Technical Advisory Group, appointed by the Minister for Energy and Resources, whose work led to changes to the industry, including reallocation of State-owned enterprise assets to encourage greater competition between generators and the establishment of the Security and Reliability Council to monitor security of electricity supply.)
- In 2015, Miriam was appointed by the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment to review a report by Acclaim Otago Inc into the Accident Compensation Corporation’s dispute resolution processes. Both the corporation and the Government largely accepted the report’s broad range of recommendations to improve these processes.
- In 2013, Miriam chaired the Government inquiry into Whey Protein Concentrate Contamination incident (the Fonterra botulism scare). This required a detailed investigation of the dairy regulatory industry, as well as an examination of the causes of the incident and the responses of the various parties concerned. The inquiry produced two reports, both of which were delivered on time and within budget. The Government accepted all 29 recommendations in the first report and all nine in the second.
- In 2012, she chaired the Dean-Cochrane Review of the role of the Solicitor-General and Crown Law. The review examined, among other things, the statutory duties of the Solicitor-General and the functions of Crown Law. It made recommendations to the Government on seven key areas of operation.
Miriam also advises and assists parties that are the subject of a review or inquiry. In 2019, she was lead advisor for Refining NZ Limited during the Government’s inquiry into the 2017 pipeline outage.