WHAT IS MEDIATION?
Mediation is a process to resolve disputes. People get together with the help of a mediator to isolate issues, develop options, consider alternatives and reach an agreement everyone can live with, rather than having a settlementimposed on them by a formal body such as a court.
Mediation should not be considered an easy option. You will need to work hard and be willing to compromise.
Mediation can help parties ‘get unstuck’ from the stalemate of their dispute. It provides an alternative to traditional methods of resolving disputes, like going to court. Parties work together to find solutions by looking at their interests, rather than focusing on their ‘legal rights’.
Mediation allows people to explain how they see the problem and how they feel about it. Initial discussion at mediated meetings focuses on what people value and need, rather than the positions they may hold or what they demand. By taking a step back from those positions, parties can share and gain an understanding of each other’s opinions and the values that underlie their attitudes to particular disputes. In this way, disputes can be looked at afresh. The principles of mediation are closely related to those of manaaki, which recognises the values that all parties bring to the table, and provides for those parties to treat each other and their ideas with respect. As mediation is a face-to-face consensus decision-making approach, it also sits comfortably with Māori decision-making processes.