Aotearoa New Zealand update | January 2022
I sincerely hope all our members had a good break over Christmas and enjoyed time with friends and whanau. It was good to see some great weather and be able to get out and about. As we start to return to work, I am hopeful 2022 will not be as challenging as the last two years. However, as we are now living in the ‘Red’ setting there will be some tough times for at least a while yet.
Based on what we have seen in other countries, it seems very likely the Omicron variant will spread quickly throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. This means that there will be some adjustments at Resolution Institute NZ.
The team will be working from home until we move out of ‘Red’. This is to provide the safest workplace possible by reducing the interactions with large groups, such as bus or train commuting. This will not mean a reduction in the excellent services provided by the NZ team to our members. Fortunately, we are all set up to work from our homes.
The other major adjustment is that our mediation training will now need to be online. We are prepared for this and have an outstanding online version that will be made available to replace our planned face-to-face version. The reason we don’t run face-to-face mediation training under the ‘Red’ level is that we feel the risk to attendees and trainers is too high and that wearing masks throughout the five-day course greatly reduces the positive experience the workshop normally provides.
In relation to COVID-19 vaccinations, the decision to have them or not is a personal choice. I respect the various views on this topic. The important thing is that we stay as safe as we can and continue to provide the great dispute resolution services we do. At times this will possibly mean exercising a very high level of tolerance towards other people.
As many of you know we have had the pleasure and honour of having Awatea Mita working with us for some months as the Restorative Justice Training and Accreditation Manager.
Shortly before Christmas Awatea received the exciting news that Victoria University had asked her to return to full-time study and research. This is an opportunity for Awatea to continue doing outstanding work in the criminal justice system. Unfortunately, this means that her time at Resolution Institute has come to an end.
I feel blessed to have had Awatea join the team at Resolution Institute and immensely proud of what she has and will achieve. I value her friendship, as do all of us at the Aotearoa New Zealand office. Awatea is truly an inspirational young person. We will miss her but also know that we will always keep in touch.