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Mediation speeds up dispute resolution

Hon Georgina te Heuheu

Minister for Courts

9 November 2009
Media Statement

Mediation speeds up dispute resolution

A pilot project where private mediators will undertake court-ordered mediation in some civil disputes was launched in Auckland today by Courts Minister Georgina te Heuheu.

“Reducing the number of full hearings and freeing up judicial time for other matters will lead to faster resolution of disputes, which will be cheaper for the parties and the court,” Mrs te Heuheu said.

The pilot will involve the equivalent of 50 day-long mediations and it is anticipated that each mediation will take less than one day. The parties’ agreement will be required.

“Mediation is currently carried out by Associate Judges, she said.

“While this has resulted in a high success rate, Associate Judges are now spending large amounts of time mediating, rather than on cases that require judicial attention.”

Fifteen mediators have been appointed. The pilot will be funded by the Ministry of Justice and it will be reviewed before a decision is made to continue.

“If successful, it may be extended to other parts of the country leading to significant savings and enabling the justice system to run more efficiently, she said.

ENDS

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