28 April 2021

Aotearoa New Zealand update | April 2021

Kia ora

Just over a week ago we celebrated ANZAC Day and recognised the sacrifices made during war times by many brave people from Australia and Aotearoa New Zealand. It is a day that we unite as one.

Like many of you, I am one of the fortunate people who have not been to war or lived in a country that has been attacked by others. However, I do recall very clearly the days of the Vietnam War and how brave young men travelled to a faraway place to fight for what was deemed as freedom. Some were compelled by conscription and some were volunteers. I vividly remember my brother and his friends being anxious and worried that their number would be drawn out of the conscription ballot.

What saddens me most is that although many New Zealanders and Australians served their country with pride and honour, upon their return, far from being given the respect they well deserved, they were in fact vilified and abused. Today many of them suffer from illnesses as a result of their duty and in particular depression and mental illness.

Thankfully that lack of recognition is being rectified.

As dispute resolution practitioners we have a role to play in this sector by facilitating discussions to help resolve disputes many veterans face. We are also the providers of resolution in situations that could escalate and result in severe outcomes. I often wonder how many lives could have been saved if facilitated resolution was attempted earlier in the Vietnam War?

Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)

I was very pleased to see the level of participation during our recent FDR day.  This was a two-day joint event with AMINZ and was for dispute resolution practitioners who had a desire to move into the FDR sector.

The workshop was run by Lesley Ashworth who is not only one of our very experienced FDR mediators but also one of the Aotearoa New Zealand representatives on the Resolution Institute Board. Lesley was assisted by a number of our members with various specialised skills. As is the case with all events that we undertake, there was a session on cultural competence and how this applies to the FDR space, which was presented by Wi Pere Mita from our Kahui Maori.

In the next couple of months, in conjunction with AMINZ, we will be running an FDR event for current FDR practitioners. We are working on having some excellent speakers from various areas of FDR expertise.

Membership renewal

In the next few days, you will be receiving information that your membership renewal is coming up. If you do not receive this in the next couple of weeks, please let us know.

Five-day mediation training

Our next, very popular, five-day mediation course will be held in Auckland from 14 to 18 June. This is our most popular course and provides comprehensive training in mediation skills and process.   These courses fill fast so if you are interested or know someone who is, please register very soon.

Have a safe and productive May and kia kaha.