Former Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Murdoch will examine actions led by Maritime New Zealand to the October 2011 grounding.
Rena spilled about 2,000 barrels of oil into the Bay of Plenty when it hit the reef. MNZ had removed most of the oil from the ship by December.
"If we can identify ways of doing things better, whether this means changing or retaining parts of the current response systems, this is good for the transport sector as a whole," said New Zealand's Ministry of Transport Chief Executive Martin Matthews.
Wellington said Tuesday it reached a $22.8 million settlement with Daina Shipping Co. regarding the last year's incident.
Two of Rena's crewmembers were given short prison terms in May after pleading guilty to a total of 11 charges related to the grounding.