This week I spoke to a group of young legal practitioners here in New Zealand. I aimed low and went back to source. I suspect I got more of a kick out of it than anyone at the session. So, mediators, look away. There is nothing new here. But users, occasional or repeat, I hope these three…

While these mediations are commercial at heart, they beat with a cultural pulse and there is a sense of majesty as the Crown sits down to kōrero with Iwi … gather around, for the history of the real Middle Earth is not one of hobbits and magical rings, but of a people struggling to coexist in a…

Not so long ago I was a claiming party as part of a group of plaintiffs in the stead of my elderly parents in a multiparty, multimillion dollar mediation. Now, I mediate around 120 mediations every year as a commercial mediator here in New Zealand so it was with a mix of personal apprehension and professional curiosity…

Most mediators I know graduated from the Facilitative School of Mediation – and we could spend much ink here debating exactly what that means but to my mind we were essentially taught to own the process and butt out of the outcome. Recently there have been a number of calls for mediators to do more – more what is…

On 4 September 2010, Christchurch – gateway to New Zealand’s scenic South Island – suffered a major 7.1 earthquake and before it could recover a further 6.3 earthquake shook the city on 22 February 2011 killing 185 people and damaging well over one third of the buildings in the CBD and tens of thousands of…

Prior to Christmas I found myself in Jerusalem, Israel – the heart of the heart of the conflict of our time. Here, no one agrees on anything – even the monks from various Christian denominations (Greek Orthodox, Armenians, Catholics and others) responsible for The Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Christ was crucified, argue amongst…

Down here in New Zealand it’s high summer and most of the country will spend until the end of January at the beach. I remember, when I was still at my law firm 10 years ago, the feeling of brief respite at this time of year before having to put on my boots again and trudge…

We mediators need to market our wares, just like the fruiterer at my local Sunday Farmers’ Market when he calls out prices from behind his stall. Increasingly some mediators are choosing to do this by the numbers – advertising how many mediations they have completed and what level of success they have achieved. For instance, this…

I come from a Western mediation tradition that argues strenuously for neutrality and impartiality in a mediator. Indeed, one of the first questions lawyers will ask when hiring me is whether or not I have any conflict of interest – in other words, do I know those involved in the dispute, have I worked with…