26 February 2020

CEO update | February 2020 | Celebrating special achievement, advocating mediation and looking forward…

Dear Members,

Last week I went on a whirlwind trip to New Zealand where I was honoured to present Wayne Marriott with the 2019 Michael Klug award in Christchurch. When the board selected Wayne for the award, they were impressed with his dedication to the dispute resolution profession, his community and to excellence and continuous self-improvement. Wayne’s connection with community is the driving force behind a lifetime of service to the public and this was particularly evident following the Christchurch Mosque shooting on 15th March last year. Wayne set in place several activities to assist and support various groups in the community. His first foray into the post-trauma environment had him team up with a Muslim community advisory group to provide advice to government on their response. He contributed to peace-building efforts and provided assistance to various groups and people in Christchurch affected by the violence. In meeting Wayne, I was taken with his presence and humility. It was a pleasure to meet him and to present him with the award in person.

In Wellington I was also able to attend part of a joint seminar run by Resolution Institute and the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ) on the NZ Farm Debt Mediation Scheme that begins operating on 1 July 2020. The scheme requires creditors such as banks who lend money to farmers, to offer mediation before taking enforcement action if farmers default on payments. This will offer farmers the opportunity to work with creditors towards alleviating their debt in a safe and constructive environment. Resolution Institute has worked with the Ministry for Primary Industries in the development of the Act and we have now applied to be an authorised mediation organisation under the scheme. For more information about the scheme click here.

Finally, I’m excited to share with you that we are currently in the early stages of planning a conference to be held in Sydney later in 2020. In my first couple of months as CEO, I have heard from members that an Australian conference (to complement NZ’s ‘Spotlight in practice’ conference) is high on your agenda and as a result of conversations with the board that have followed, we have agreed that it is once again time for Australia to host a bi-annual conference that will be of relevance to all members. Watch this space!

Until next month,