top of page
  • What is mediation?
    Mediation is a voluntary form of dispute resolution where a neutral third party (the mediator) helps people with a conflict or dispute reach an agreement in a safe and confidential environment. All parties must consent to be part of the mediation process. Mediation provides a quick and cost-effective alternative to litigation.
  • What types of disputes suit mediation or mediation-arbitration?
    Mediation is appropriate in most areas of dispute. Mediation-Arbitration is best suited to disputes where the value of the dispute ranges from $30,000 to about $150,000. Below $30,000 the services of the Disputes Tribunal are available; between $30,000 to say, $150,000 it is highly likely that it is not cost-effective to take a dispute through the District Court given the legal fees and court costs that will be incurred. Contact Ann Skelton for a confidential chat about your dispute and what might work best.
  • What is the difference between mediation, faciliation and mediation-arbitration?"
    A facilitator's role is to help a group of people engage and communicate around a common goal. In faciliation there may be an agreed way forward, there may not always be an end to the dispute or the issue. A mediator's role is to help people in conflict find their own solution. If parties cannot agree on a mutually acceptable outcome, then the dispute still continues after the end of the mediation. A mediation-arbitration provides a final outcome for all parties. The parties have an opportunity to reach their own agreed solution with the assistance of the mediator, but if that is not possible then the mediator will signal to the parties that the mediation is at an end and move into an arbitration process. This may involve the mediator asking some further questions of the parties during the arbitration. The process will end that day and within 4 weeks of the mediation-arbitration, the parties will have a written decision that will bring the dispute to an end. The decision will be binding and enforceable through the courts.
  • How is the mediation or the mediation-arbitration process concluded?
    At the conclusion of a successful mediation, the mediator will draft an agreement which each party and the mediator will sign. At the conclusion of a mediation-arbitration, the mediator will give an indication of when a written decision will be provided to the parties, usually no later than 4 weeks from the date of the med-arbitration.
  • Why mediate?
    Mediation provides a unique approach to dispute resolution that provides flexibility in a timely manner and is a powerful alternative to litigation. Not only is there procedural flexibility and opportunity for the parties to have input into the process, but the outcome is self-determined. If mediation occurs early in the life of the dispute, numerous legal and court fees can be avoided.
  • Why choose the Mediation-Arbitration process?
    The Med-Arb process concludes with a written decision that is legally binding and enforceable. The decision is also final as there is no right of appeal. It is set up this way to ensure quick and cost-effective resolution of the dispute. It suits parties who are willing to try and reach a settlement through mediation, but are at a point in their dispute that if settlement is not forthcoming, then they want the dispute to come to an end via a decision-maker. Med-Arb provides finality but also gives the parties an opportunity to choose their own solution should that arise throughout the process. It is a valid alternative to costly litigation for disputes less than $150,000. The process takes a day to hear the parties and a written decision will be provided within 4 weeks of that day.
  • What is facilitation?
    Enter your answer here
  • How much does Mediation cost?
    The daily rate for a mediaton ranges from $5,000 to $10,000 plus GST depending on the number of parties and the complexity of the dispute. This fee includes all the preliminary steps required to ensure the greatest chance of success. If the mediation is in Christchurch, this fee includes the cost of the venue and disbursements. If the mediation is outside Christchurch, there may be additional venue hire, travel and accomodation costs. Please contact Ann for a quote on the cost to resolve, or next steps for, your dispute. That may be a facilitation or mediation, or it may be some conflict management meetings facilitated by Mediation Partners. The cost will be discussed up front once we have a full idea of the ambit of the dispute.
  • How much does Mediation-Arbitration cost?
    The Mediaton-Arbitration fee is $10,000 plus GST. This fee covers the preparation, the mediation-arbitration process taken over the course of a day, and provision of the written binding decision. The fee usually covers venue costs if the process takes place in Christchurch but this is dependant on the number of parties. Outside of Christchurch, there may be additional costs of venue hire, travel and accomodation.
  • Is the fee negotiable?
    Generally, no. However, Mediation Partners is committed to access to justice issues and is happy to discuss pro bono matters. Rates may be negotiable for Not-for-Profit, NGO orcommunity or charity organisations. Please contact us to discuss.
  • Can the mediation process be forced on the other side?
    No, both parties need to agree to use the mediation or mediation-arbitration process. If one party is interested in using these processes then it would be worth contacting Mediation Partners to see if there are possibilities of involving the other party. Often the assistance of a neutral third party, such as a mediator, can help bring the parties together to mediate. Please contact Ann to see if we can help.
  • How do I start the process?
    Either: Call Ann Skelton at Mediation Partners to discuss your dispute and see what process will resolve it best; or Submit your name and brief message through the CONTACT page and we will be back in touch with you.
  • What preparation do I need to do?
    Mediation or arbitration works best when all parties are prepared. The mediator will hold a preliminary teleconference to set the date, define the issues and work out what documents need to be shared between the parties. Mediation and arbitration are dynamic processes. To prepare, it pays to think about how the other party to the dispute sees the problem, what the main issues are for the other party and if the matter doesn't settle or reach a resolution, what will you do then - in other words, what does the future look like. Once you've considered all those things, you will be better prepared to attend the mediation with an open mind and a willingness to listen.
  • What documents do I need to provide?
    All documents that you wish to rely on to help support your claim. This might include contracts, invoices, receipts, tickets, terms of sale, letters, emails, policy documents, experts reports, photos etc. The types of documents needed will be discussed at the preliminary meeting.
  • How long does the mediation process take?
    The preliminary teleconference will occur sometime prior to the mediation and will take up to an hour. The actual mediation will occur on one day and can taken anywhere from 4-8 hours, depending on the complexity of the issues and number of parties.
  • How long does the Med-Arb process take?
    The preliminary teleconference will occur sometime prior to the Med-Arb and may take up to two hours. The Med-Arb process will occur on one day and can taken anywhere from 4-8 hours, depending on the complexity of the issues and number of parties.
  • Where will the process take place?
    If the mediation or Med-Arb is in Christchurch, it will take place at Plymouth Chambers in Cashel Street, Christchurch Central. This is a barristers chambers in the central city with a board room and break-out room, if necessary. Plymouth Chambers is adjacent to the Lichfield Street public car park and about 100m form the Central Bus station. If you have a strong preference for the process to take place at some other venue, then please contact us. If the process is outside of Christchurch, it will depend on availability of suitable venues.
  • What if we can't agree?
    If it is a mediation, and the parties can't agree, then the dispute still remains and the parties need to consider what other options remain. There may be the option of further mediation or facilitation sessions but this will be an additional cost to be discussed with us. If it is a Med-Arb process, if the parties can't come to their own agreement, the mediator will make a decision for the parties and provide that decision in writing within 2 weeks of the process. That decision will be final and binding.
  • Enter your answer here
  • Should I involve a lawyer?
    All processes have been designed to support and allow non-legal people the ability to set out their dispute and resolve it. The mediators are experienced in supporting this process and ideally prefer to hear directly from the parties. For mediation and faciliatation, the choice is yours. You can have a lawyer attend the mediation or facilitation with you or any support person you choose. Equally, having a lawyer attend is not necessary. The value of mediation is that the parties get to have their say so the mediator will encourage you to speak rather than your advisor. For the mediation-arbitration process, lawyers are not permitted except in special circumstances. You are welcome to get legal advice regarding your dispute before the process but the aim of the mediation-arbitration is to provide cost-effective, fast-track dispute resolution with the parties at the centre of the process. Involvement of legal advisors tends to slow the process and increase the costs. If you're not sure whether you want to bring a lawyer or advocate to any process, then feel free to call Ann to discuss.
  • Can I bring a support person?
    Yes, we encourage parties to have whoever they need in attendance so ensure the process has the best possibility of success.
  • Who should attend?
    It's important that the right people are at the mediation table. The best person to attend is someone who has authority to settle the dispute and can speak knowledgeably about the issues. If the person attending does not have the authority to settle, this needs to be brought to the attention of the mediator prior to the mediation or arbitration process. All these matters will be discussed in the preliminary meetings prior to the mediation or arbitration.
  • Do I have to have a lawyer?
    You do not need to have a lawyer attend the mediation with you. It may be a good idea to get legal advice about your dispute so that you have an idea of your rights and obligations. This will help you set your expectations for any mediated settlement. You need to remember that the mediator is not there to give you legal advice. The mediator's role is to try and get both or all parties to see possibilities and opportunities to resolve the dispute. If you are not represented then the Agreement to Mediate that you will be required to sign will include a clear statement recording that the mediator is not there to give legal advice and as such cannot be held liable for the agreements you reach.
bottom of page