Grant Hamilton Morris
Victoria University of Wellington – Faculty of Law
June 1, 2015
This report delivers the results from the first project to systematically explore commercial mediation in NZ. A key aim of this project is to move the study of commercial mediation in NZ from anecdote to evidence. There has been a lot of talk about the growing importance of commercial mediation in NZ but no empirical evidence to support the claims. This information vacuum weakens the mediation profession’s efforts to effectively promote mediation for commercial disputes. It also leaves the profession vulnerable to criticism from those suspicious of mediation i.e. it is difficult to rebut criticism without convincing evidence.
Specific research questions covered in the project include:
How much commercial mediation is taking place?
What styles of mediation are being used in commercial disputes?
How effective is this mediation?
Who is carrying out commercial mediation? Where is it happening?
How can the use of commercial mediation be increased and encouraged?
What are the key challenges facing commercial mediation?
Relevant written sources have been analysed and individual mediators surveyed and interviewed regarding the nature of their work. Along with providing an overview of NZ’s commercial mediation landscape the project will hopefully stimulate further research into this area of mediation practice. This report assesses the current state of commercial mediation in NZ and offer predictions for the future.