29 October 2020

NZ update | October 2020

Kia ora

As I am sure you will all agree, this year is flying past and I think many of us are looking forward to the end of 2020.

October has been a very busy month at Resolution Institute and New Zealand as well. In addition to the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, there has been an election with a very clear outcome, two Bledisloe Cup matches, also with a very clear outcome, and the Bathurst 1000 car race, again with a clear winner!

This month, of note is our growing relationship with Laidlaw Consulting which has facilitated the running of four Te Reo training sessions, which focus on structure and pronunciation, and a training programme on mediating in a tikanga framework. 

Resolution Institute will now be able to offer accreditation in providing mediation services in a tikanga framework and I understand this will be the first accreditation of this type in New Zealand.

This is very exciting for Resolution Institute and is the start of our commitment to operate in line with Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The establishment of our Maori Caucus will further our commitment.

We were pleased to be able to provide a one-day workshop on restorative practice this month.  This was run by Jon Everest, one of our excellent trainers and part of the Diana Unwin Chair in Restorative Justice team. Jon presented workshops in Wellington and Christchurch and they were very well received.

On 26 November, Jon will be presenting the workshop in Auckland and I encourage any member who has an interest in restorative practice to attend. It is an excellent workshop.

I also had the honour of attending the Future Firm Forum in Queenstown as Resolution Institute was one of the sponsors of the day. This was a conference for law firms which examined what the provision of legal advice may look like in the coming years. This included introducing Resolution Institute to the attendees and explaining the services we provide in the dispute resolution area.

On the subject of law, AMINZ’s Sue Wells and I had the pleasure of meeting with Kate Wiseman and Kirsty Swadling to talk about the collaborative law movement.

Collaborative law (now known as collaborative resolution) aims to bring legally represented parties together with an agreed aim to resolve the dispute through collaboration.

The following is from the Collaborative Resolution website (

How Collaborative Practice can help you

People often say that if they could sit around a table together their issues would be dealt with quickly, rather than drawn out through the exchange of lawyers’ letters.  The Collaborative Process occurs through a series of focused meetings where you exchange information, explore options for resolution and plan your own future in a private, supported and respectful way.

Collaborative Practice has the following benefits

- Control: you have control of the timing of the process, the issues for discussion and its outcomes.
- Cost Effective: Collaborative Practice costs less than Court and is often less costly and more efficient than negotiating through lawyers’ letters or other processes.
- Simple: face to face meetings and the ability to address issues directly.
- Personal: your issues and resolutions are based around the unique interests of you and any children you may have.
Out of Court: an important part of the Collaborative Process is the threat of Court is removed from negotiations.
- Informed problem solving: full disclosure of facts and information occurs (just as in any other dispute resolution process) and your professionals guide you to use that information within a problem solving approach.
- Respectful: you and your partner may no longer get along but the Collaborative Process supports you in creating a respectful atmosphere.
- Positive outcomes: respectful negotiations and dealing with your specific, future interests means more positive, longstanding and achievable outcomes for you and your family. Outcomes are usually far more bespoke and creative than could be achieved through a positional, adversarial negotiation through lawyers or Court process.

In my view, and I know many of our members will agree, this is a big step in the right direction to help increase the use of dispute resolution that is agreement and client focused.

Resolution Institute (NZ) supports the collaborative resolution movement and strongly encourages members to do so.

Stay safe and have a great November.

Kind regards