The Government has asked lawyer and director Miriam Dean to chair the Government review into the Fonterra food scare, but the inquiry will be jointly led by Primary Production Minister Nathan Guy and Food Safety Minister Nikki Kaye.

The ministers issued a statement this afternoon stating it would be ``a joint ministerial-led Government inquiry'' divided into two parts.

The first part would look at how the potentially contaminated whey protein concentrate entered the New Zealand and international markets and how it was addressed.

The other part would look at regulatory best practice requirements including the response of regulators.


The inquiry would report back on any recommended legal, regulatory of operational changes, they said.

Miriam Dean is a past president of the Bar Association and a former partner at Russell McVeagh. She led the recent review into the Crown Law Office.

Another two members were yet to be appointed and one would be an international food safety expert.

The second part of the inquiry would have a three-month deadline for an interim report.

The Primary Production select committee has been asked to stall progress on the Food Bill until the inquiry has reported.

Other inquiries are being conducted by Fonterra and the Ministry of Primary Industries.