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Mediator or Facilitator: What's the difference?

What’s the difference between a mediator and a facilitator?

Trevor Mallard’s proposal for a mediator in school closure disputes is a bad idea and should be avoided, says National’s Education spokesman Bill English.

“Invercargill schools have agreed to use a mediator, with no terms of reference, but it is unlikely to make any difference.

“Because the Minister has not made any changes to his intentions, the mediator can only redo the work already done by the facilitator. And the facilitator has just received submissions from everybody on how they respond to Trevor Mallard’s proposed closures. In the end, the Minister makes the decisions anyway.

“No one knows how the mediator will be appointed, or what the mediator will do. There are no changes in the ground rules for the school review and the announced closures have not been withdrawn.

“The only difference seems to be that the local community has to pay for the mediator instead of the Government paying.

“The public in Invercargill was presented with a stitched-up deal to save face for Trevor Mallard, when they wanted an extension to the moratorium on school closures to their city. They voted overwhelmingly for an end to school closures but Trevor Mallard ignored them.

“He should back down properly, and set clear terms of reference for the mediation. If he won’t do that, he should close the schools which want to be closed and let everyone else get on with the job,”said Mr English.

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