29 October 2021

Aotearoa New Zealand update | October 2021



Kia ora

Spotlight on Practice Online
Our 2021 conference between 16 and 18 November is filling up very fast. We have some outstanding workshops covering all forms of dispute resolution practice. If you haven’t already registered, I suggest you do so very soon here.

Mediation in high conflict family separation — an invitation from FDR Practitioner Jill Goldson
Jill Goldson has been extensively involved in practice, research and development, and in teaching professionals involved with the family justice system, on the topic of families and children who are navigating the transition of separation.

An awarded mediator (RI), and researcher, (Churchill Fellow) and appointed to the family justice review 2019 Expert Reference Group (Te Korowai Ture a-Whanau) Jill is a frequent media commentator.

Jill has initiated an innovative online service to provide support on managing high conflict separation and the alienation and resist/refuse dynamic which tragically can ensue. Leading edge research papers and practices will be reviewed and discussed.

Family mediators are warmly invited to register interest in subscribing to the database. All emails are on a confidential basis and the ‘unsubscribe’ option is available. The website is here and the email address to register interest in being on the mailing list is

For further information on Jill’s research work and publications and media commentary please go here

Training and Accreditations
Being an accredited mediator is a qualification that is highly regarded in our dispute resolution sector and a way of demonstrating to your clients your high level of experience and training.  Resolution Institute is always looking to improve the accreditations it provides.

In recent times we have modified our mediation accreditation to have more of a focus on overall practice and skills and less on ‘ticking the box’ style of assessment.  Our assessors now work more closely with candidates to make the journey to accreditation less stressful.

In addition to mediation accreditation, we also offer family dispute resolution and farm debt mediation accreditation. More recently we have also added Tohono accreditation for those members who wish to work more widely in our community.

Resolution Institute is now working with Victoria University and the Diana Unwin Chair to develop a pathway to restorative practice accreditation. This is something that our members have expressed an interest in, as has the wider dispute resolution community. I will keep you up to date on the progress of this programme.

COVID-19 — The Challenge Continues
I think it is fair to say that the vast majority of our community are tiring of the challenges COVID-19 is causing. Living with restrictions, especially for our Auckland and northern neighbours, is hard and I see many people tiring of the need to wear masks and check-in everywhere. I think we also miss the face-to-face interactions with our fellow dispute resolution practitioners. However, we need to hang in there if we are going to resume a normal life down the track.

There is now a clear move to some form of ‘living with COVID-19’ and the next couple of months will be an interesting time with possible vaccination mandates and lifting of restrictions.

In our roles as dispute resolvers we need to be using our skills to help people who find themselves in conflict over things such as vaccination. The vital thing we need to do is always remember ‘your map of the world is different to others’ and to accept that is the way it is. We must always ensure our personal feelings and beliefs stay out of any conflict we are asked to help with. If you feel your beliefs are such that it may influence how you operate then step back and let someone else assist.

In the meantime, stay safe and be kind.

Kind regards
Trevor Slater