26 August 2020

NZ update | August 2020

Kia ora koutou,

Well what a month this has been!

Returning to COVID-19 restrictions has been quite challenging not just for our members and friends in Auckland but also right across our wonderful country.

Our catchphrase at the Resolution Institute office has been ‘we need to be agile’ in response to our tumultuous COVID-19 context. Once again, we’ve been frantically cancelling our face to face events and replacing them with online options, and we see this ‘agility’ will be required for a while to come.

As we plan events into the future, we are going to make sure they can either be brought online if need be or can be postponed. We’ll let you know in the initial information which of these options will be used, should we have a COVID-19 outbreak.

Our ‘rule of thumb’ is going to be — we only run face to face events in a given region if that region sits at Alert Level 1. If the Alert Level is 2 or above, then the ‘back up plan’ comes into play.

We have beaten COVID-19 once and I know we can do it again and again if needed. In the meantime our great team in our New Zealand office is here to help you with whatever you need.

There have been some exciting events this month in addition to the challenge of COVID-19.

We held our first Aotearoa New Zealand Professional Development Group meeting and I have to say we have an outstanding consortium of members in this group who will provide input into the New Zealand operations of Resolution Institute. There are a number of suggestions already made that we are working on.

I had the pleasure of attending part of the online AMINZ Conference. There were some excellent speakers and the way it was run was very good. Speakers presented for 40 minutes, then 10 minutes of questions with a ten-minute break. Who would have thought just a few months ago that a conference could be successfully run online? Congratulations to Sue Wells and her team at AMINZ for doing such a great groundbreaking job.

I have been advised of the finalists for Mediator of the Year at the New Zealand Law Awards and although I am not at liberty to disclose their names as yet, I am very happy to say all nominations are Resolution Institute members. I will announce the finalists mid-September.

As I have previously mentioned, Sue Wells, Executive Director of AMINZ, and I are now working closer together to create a single voice for the dispute resolution industry in New Zealand. We have recognised that there are a number of challenges in the family dispute resolution (FDR) space. To help address these, we are in the process of creating an FDR group to examine issues and look for solutions that we can then jointly present to Government and other agencies.

The other exciting event that is on the drawing board is a three-day tikanga mediation course which will be conducted by Wi Pere Mita and his team. This will be in late September and will most likely be an online course. If so, it will be run over more than three days to allow time to digest the information and avoid ‘death by Zoom’!

We continue to provide great resources for our members through our webinars and short courses as well as our highly rated five-day mediation workshop. I am also working with our good friends at MBIE to convert my one-day negotiation and complaint resolution workshop to online learning.  Once this is done the units of the workshop will be offered to all members. In the meantime, if you have any training suggestions please let me know and please take a look at what is available now.

This year has certainly been very different and very challenging. I would like to thank you all for your support of Resolution Institute. I have the pleasure of not only working with a great team but also meeting and working with many outstanding mediators and dispute resolution practitioners.

Please stay safe and look after each other. COVID-19 is a strong fighter, but we are stronger, and we will win this battle.

Kia kaha

Nāku noa

Kind regards,