The history of mediation in New Zealand reflects a number of influences and developments. While prototypes of mediation can be found in New Zealand’s early industrial relations, the modern mediation movement is primarily a result of state-led reform in a variety of legal areas. Much of this reform has been influenced by overseas models emphasising New Zealand’s role as a “fast-follower” of alternative dispute resolution trends rather than an initiator. The rise of mediation in New Zealand has been ad hoc and pragmatic with a distinct lack of systematic development. This pragmatic change was a response to pressures such as the cost and delay involved in litigation, and major social trends challenging traditional ways, including traditional approaches to resolving disputes. Mediation continues to play a vital role in the New Zealand legal system but the exponential growth of the 1980s and 1990s has slowed as mediation begins to clearly locate and confirm its “territory” in the New Zealand legal system.
14 May 2014
'Towards a History of Mediation in New Zealand's Legal System' by Grant Hamilton Morris in (2013) 24 Australasian Dispute Resolution Journal 86-101 comments