[ Ngā Ratonga Takawaenga ]Resolved mediation services provide an avenue of low-cost dispute resolution facilitated by a professional mediator. The mediator helps parties have a structured conversation, dealing with the hard stuff and then focusing on positive and controlled outcomes that work for everyone.
What is mediation?
Mediation is a voluntary process that two or more parties go through to help them resolve a dispute amongst themselves. A mediator assists parties to have a difficult conversation in a confidential environment with the aim of helping the parties talk through their issues and come to their own resolution.
Mediation is a much more cost-effective and favourable method of dispute resolution than going through a legal system, which ultimately results in parties being told how the conflict will be resolved.
Who is mediation suitable for?
Resolved mediation services can help parties reach a conflict resolution in a range of situations:
- Commercial conflicts
- Neighbour disputes
- Employment disputes
- Building disputes
- Relationship property disputes (division of belongings)
- Estate disputes (how a will is applied)
- Family trust disputes
- Shareholding disputes
- Elder law family work (when families disagree about the care of their elder)
Mediation is not suitable when there is a health and safety risk for one (or all) of the parties.
How much does mediation cost?
The mediation services offered by Resolved come at an hourly rate of $200+gst per hour, up to $1,500+GST per day. There may be additional costs related to the mediation process such as travel if outside of Taranaki, and room hire if not held at our location. These costs are covered by the parties, who need to come to an agreement regarding who pays what.
The cost of mediation is most often dwarfed by the alternatives which can include lawyer and court costs.
Are there alternatives to mediation?
People can choose to forego mediation and negotiate themselves without the assistance of a mediator. Without a professional mediator involved this can often escalate to litigation and parties incurring the cost of lawyers and court proceedings. When a dispute reaches the courts, the resolution is decided for parties, giving them no control over the outcome.
What's required to use mediation services?
All parties involved need to agree to attend mediation. If one party is finding another reluctant to enter mediation, they can approach them providing mediation details and mediator contact details, suggesting they contact the mediator to discuss further what's involved in mediation and the costs.
Reluctant parties may be concerned about costs and may simply need to talk to someone about the cost-effectiveness of mediation. Most importantly — interested parties need to understand why any party is reluctant to try mediation.
What's involved in the mediation process?
Mediator contacts parties
Once the parties agree to attend and appoint the mediator, the mediator will speak to each party separately, on a confidential basis. This helps the mediator gain an understanding of what each party's concerns are and what outcome they want to achieve. The mediator tells them what they need to bring to mediation and discusses the practicalities of mediation; who, when, where, etc.
Parties sign agreement to mediate
If parties agree to attend at this stage, an agreement to mediate is sent to each party. It lists what's expected of each party, all costs, who's coming, time, location and so on. They will need to sign the document prior to the mediation.
Mediation meeting takes place
Parties then meet for the mediation itself, where the mediator will work through the issues, helping the parties to come up with their own solution. This may require multiple meetings.
Agreement is reached
If an agreement is reached, the mediator will help the parties draft a mediation agreement, a settlement agreement or an outcome document.
If no agreement is reached, parties can then go down the litigation path relevant to their situation; e.g. district court, disputes tribunal, employment relations authority, family court, etc.
In our experience, mediation has a far greater chance of resolving disputes and resulting in outcomes that parties are more likely to stick with, because they've come to them voluntarily. It's also more successful in preserving relationships.
What is the mediator's role?
Our accredited mediation professional plays the all-important role of mediator. The mediator's role is to assist parties to have facilitated discussions in order to help them resolve their dispute with a solution that everyone agrees to.
The mediator will ensure each party has a fair opportunity to speak and to be heard. They make sure parties keep the conversation on track and don't get caught up in details that aren't solutions-focused.
The mediator will not make a decision for any party take sides, cast judgment or offer legal advice. Their role is that of an objective observer, facilitating a conversation where parties come to their own solution.
Who can attend mediation?
Parties can have additional people attend their mediation meetings if all parties agree to them being there. This can include lawyers and support people. The mediator will manage the numbers in the room and any issues arising from lopsided legal representation or support people numbers, to avoid intimidation and bullying.
The mediator will also manage risks resulting from personality dynamics, any cultural needs, or language barriers (by way of an interpreter).
Why use a professional mediator from Resolved?
Caroline Silk, our professional mediator spent four years getting her mediation qualification and is required to keep up an accreditation with a professional dispute resolution body. In addition to her mediation skillset, she has a high level of professionalism and efficacy within the field of mediation.
Those using Resolved mediation services tap into her wealth of experience in dealing with disputes and human behaviour with a focus on assisting people in coming to pragmatic outcomes.
In our experience, 95% of employment disputes are settled through mediation and around 85% of all other disputes resolve with mediation. People who attend in a sceptical mindset often come away surprised at how well the process has worked for them, even if it hasn't resulted in a complete resolution.