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The paragraphs below provide extra information about conflict and disputes, the cost they can cause, and the benefits to you of having your conflict or dispute situations resolved.  They also provide a brief description of the various dispute resolution processes, and the help that we as experienced Dispute Resolution Professionals can give to you.

Important Note:  The information provided on this website is given as a guide only – it cannot be construed as legal advice.  People who are involved in disputes and who want legal advice need to secure that advice independently of this website.

The Cost of Conflict

If you are experiencing conflict you will be well aware that it is destructive, often leading to stress, loss of sleep, poor decision making, poor health, inability to get on with life, badly damaged relationships.  The list of impacts is long, and the impact is much greater than people often realise.  You may find an answer through one of the processes described below.

Our Help to You

If you regard court action as a last resort for conflict resolution you have available many other ways to achieve a worthwhile result – negotiation, mediation, conciliation, adjudication and arbitration.  These processes should be and typically are cheaper, quicker and less damaging than court action.  They can be applied to practically any dispute imaginable.  This is where we can help.

As trained professionals from varied walks of life we can help you in a number of ways – by providing training that helps you manage conflict situations and thereby avoid escalation of the situation; by acting as an advocate or representative for you in any situation; and by acting as the neutral third party (eg mediator, conciliator, adjudicator, arbitrator) in a dispute resolution process.  We also carry out investigation and reporting on conflict situations eg in the workplace.

Between us we are experienced in all forms of conflict and dispute resolution.  These are described below.

Our Services are Affordable

We have already mentioned the potentially damaging cost of conflict.  Our conflict and dispute resolution processes are efficient and affordable.  Resolution of conflicts gives you the benefit of getting past the conflict and on with your normal life.  Details on the costs of our services are available from each of us individually.

Conflict and Dispute Resolution Processes

There are a number of ways to talk through conflicts. Any of the contacts on this web site will help you assess which process is best for you. The usual approaches to conflict resolution are described briefly below.

Typically, parties will only enter into Negotiation, Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration by agreement ie it is not possible to force a party into these processes – unless for example there is a court order that directs parties into mediation, say.  In the construction industry an unwilling party can be forced into Adjudication.  Unwilling parties can of course be forced into court.

Investigation

Sometimes conflicts lack clarity and certainty about the ‘real’ problem. An independent person with additional skills in analysing conflict can impartially investigate complaints, define what is wrong, and who the behaviour or incident involves. The impartial report gives the people involved (eg employers and employees) the support and confidence to take safe action to correct the situation.

Negotiation

In negotiation the people negotiate their own agreement without objective third party assistance.  Individually, people may of course engage extra resources to help strengthen their cases in the process, eg a trained representative, legal advisor or a trained negotiator.

Mediation

Mediation involves an objective third party – the mediator - assisting people to negotiate.  The role of the mediator is to encourage the necessary communication - exchanges of information, feelings, and interests - that will lead people to their own resolution of the dispute.  The resulting agreement is voluntary, being the choice of the participants in the mediation.  The mediator, having helped the people reach their agreement, may provide further help by writing up the agreement that the people have come to.  However, the mediator is not a party to the agreement.

Conciliation

Conciliation can be different things to different people.  For us it helps simply to regard it as a useful next step on from mediation.  It can be used when mediation has been unsuccessful and the neutral third party is asked to make a suggestion for settlement, in effect taking on the role of a conciliator.  This suggestion for settlement may be given informally, or it may be presented formally in writing, with the parties having an agreement as to its status.  For example, they may agree whether the conciliator’s suggestion is to be binding or non-binding or, say, binding if neither party objects within a certain period of time.  Conciliation is commonly used in rural and engineering industries.

Adjudication

Adjudication is a judicial process in which the neutral third party makes a decision to resolve the dispute.  It can be regarded as a quick (and useful) form of arbitration.  Adjudication has particular relevance in the construction industry but could by agreement be used in other areas.  In the construction industry it is carried out under the provisions of the Construction Contracts Act 2002 and parties can be forced into the process.  The decision of the Adjudicator is binding but not final – it can be revisited relatively easily.

Arbitration

Arbitration is a judicial process in which the disputing parties arrange for a neutral third party to decide the dispute for them.  It is conducted under the provisions of the Arbitration Act 1996 and amendments.  The arbitration process can range from informal to formal, and the parties have some choice about the process.  In essence however it is still a legal process; the parties present their cases and the arbitrator retires to make a decision – on the issues that the parties have asked the arbitrator to address.  The decision is legally binding, and basically final with few rights of appeal against it.

Quick Contact

If you simply want to make quick contact without studying any further detail send an email to info@endispute.co.nz.

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