Resolving a Dispute

Elder and retirement village mediation in NZ

About elder mediation

Retirement Villages Code of Practice

What to expect in elder mediation
- what happens?
- time
- costs

Find an elder mediator

About elder mediation

Elder mediation is mediation that involves an older person and one or more other people. Elder mediation is a respectful process which is often involves multiple people and intergenerational issues. Resolution Institute elder mediators have specific skills in working with elders, through training or experience.

Mediation is an informal process for helping people who have a dispute to sort it out for themselves without going to court. A mediator is a neutral third person who encourages those in the dispute to talk to each other about the issues. They then create and agree upon an outcome that meets their needs and addresses their concerns

Mediation is not like court. The mediators do not make a decision about what is going to happen. Only you and the other people involved, with the help of any support people you need, can make a decision about what is going to happen.

Download our brochure on elder mediation (coming...)

Retirement Villages Code of Practice

The Retirement Villages Code of Practice sets out the rights and obligations of retirement village operators and residents, including how to raise a concern or make a complaint. Information on the Code of Practice is on the website of the Commission for Financial Capability>>

From 1 April 2017 variations to the Code of Practice come into effect. These variations include changes to the ways that concerns or complaints are managed.

What to expect in elder mediation

What happens?

Before the mediation the mediator will usually talk to all the people involved separately to help you all decide if mediation is the right thing to do. The mediator will talk with you about what your concerns are, who needs to be at the mediation, where to meet and how long the mediation meeting is likely to take.

Mediation often happens in one meeting, but sometimes can take more than one meeting.

The mediator does not take sides. During the mediation, the mediators ask questions and make sure you and the other party understand each other.

At the start of the mediation the mediator will introduce themselves and make sure everyone understands what is going to happen.

Each party will have a chance to talk, uninterrupted, about their view of the dispute. The mediator then help the parties to decide what issues that they would like to talk about.

The next part of the meeting is about exploring those issues. The mediator will help the parties clarify the issues, ask each other questions, and discuss the issues in detail.

After the parties have discussed everything, the mediator helps the parties brainstorm ideas to resolve the dispute. The mediator will not give the parties ideas, but will encourage parties to think about what they have heard and what they might put forward to end the dispute.

If the parties agree how to resolve the dispute the mediators will help the parties write up the agreement.


Mediations can take several hours or a full day, or several days depending on how complex the mediation is. If the mediation is longer than a couple of hours the mediator and people participating in the mediation may prefer to complete the mediation in several meetings rather than all on one day. Discuss this with your mediator.

Things that may mean a mediation is more complex and will take longer include:
- Where there are a number of issues or concerns to discuss
- Where the issues or concerns are very complex
- If there are a large number of people to be involved in the mediation
- If some of the people involved in the mediation have medical issues or need support to express their views


The cost of mediation depends on the complexity of the mediation and the amount of time it will require. See information on time>>

As a general guide, elder mediation will usually cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Ask the mediator about their fees and they will give you an indication of cost. Once you have met with them and they understand a little more about the situation they will be able to give you a cost for the mediation.

Who pays for Retirement Village mediations is covered in the Retirement Villages Code of Practice>>

If the conflict involves the Retirement Village Operator, then the Operator will pay the cost of the Mediation. If the matter is between residents and doesn’t involve the Retirement Village Operator, the Mediation costs will be shared equally between the residents and the operator. You and the other party(s) will cover your own costs, e.g. if you choose to see a lawyer you would pay any legal costs.

If your mediation is outside of a Retirement Village the normal practice is to split the cost of mediation between the people involved, although sometimes one person will agree to cover the cost of mediation.

Find an elder mediator

The mediators listed below are Resolution Institute accredited mediators who have specific skills in assisting elders.
Experienced, accredited members wishing to join the Elder Mediation Lst complete this expression of interest>>

North Island

Name Location/Area Contact Details Profile
Anna Quinn Auckland Anna’s Profile>>
Rosemary Nourse Wellington, Johnsonville, Porirua, Lower Hutt
027 337 8921
Rosemary's profile>>
Anet Kate Auckland
(09) 8466 468
021 109 7725
Anet's profile>>
Gerard Sullivan Auckland
027 633 4283
Gerard's profile>>
Judith Scott Auckland
Bay of Plenty
027 308 3652
Rachel Lohrey Palmerston North
(06) 358 8962
Rachel's profile>>

Sue Adams

Wellington, Hutt, Kapiti
021 453 235
Sue's profile>>
Sharon Stewart Tauranga
Bay of Plenty
(07) 578 3526
027 458 2842
Sharon's profile>>
Sharon's website>>
Jon Everest Wellington Region
Other part of NZ on request
021 354 708
Jon's profile>>
William Hursthouse Auckland
027 4989 312
William's profile>>
Jan Hayes Wellington
Also works in Hawkes Bay and Manawatu
021 430 449
Jan's profile>>
Nigel Dunlop Nelson
All of NZ
021 685 910
Nigel's profile>>
Nigel's website>>
Trish Blyth Auckland Trish's profile>>
Trish's website>>
Jennifer Parker Wellington, Hutt, Kapiti and Wairarapa Jennifer's profile>>
Caroline Silk Taranaki based, also Manawatu, Ak, Wgtn or SI
027 67 67 265
(06) 759 5312
Caroline's profile>>

South Island

Name Location/Area Contact Details Profile
Marian Shore Oamaru
Waitaki, Central Otago, Otago, South Canterbury
(03) 434 7533
021 724 1130
Marian's profile>>
Anja Klinkert Dunedin
Otago region Anja's profile>>
Nigel Dunlop Nelson
All of NZ
021 685 910
Nigel's profile>>
Nigel's website>>