top of page

Nicola Hartfield

When misunderstandings and disputes arise, there is a high risk of them becoming too complex, too scary, and too difficult to know how to fix them. We often hope they will right themselves. The longer disputes are left unmanaged, the more damage is done to relationships, to our workplace and to our productivity, creativity, and to our feeling of well-being. Conflict is contagious and can spread quickly. The best chance of resolution is when the conflict or dispute is caught early. Welcome to my website.


I have 36 years of experience working with people in distress and difficulty, either in their personal or professional lives. I began my professional life as a health based social worker, specialising in child health and palliative care. This led me into the world of family, community and workplace relationships, dispute resolution and reconciliation. I observed the amount of stress and anxiety caused when disputes arose, and how effective the process of mediation and facilitated discussions was to resolve them and to prevent them from resurfacing again.
After completing a Post Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution, I gained my Fellowships in mediation, for both Resolution Institute and the Arbitrators’ & Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ). I am NMAS accredited. (Australian National Accreditation).  I was awarded the Anne Edge memorial prize for excellence in the AMINZ Mediation Fellowship exams and was named in the top ten family mediators by the National Business Review. In 2022, I was acknowledged by AMINZ with a Distinguished Service Award.


As a mediator and dispute resolution consultant, I am an independent impartial person to the conflict and the dispute that exists for you. I help you to understand the situation, your reactions and responses to it, provide you  with skills, tools, and strategies and a process to reach agreement and settlement. I am known for being creative, hard- working and achieving solutions. I shift the obstacles that get in the way of agreements being reached. In addition to this work, I provide bespoke training to FDR practitioners and to workplaces and teach the 5-day AMINZ mediation skills programme on-line and face to face. I bring research, experience, fun, and practical exercises to these trainings.


While I am based in Whanganui, Aotearoa New Zealand, I travel nationally and internationally. Although I am mainly known for my work in the family dispute area, I mediate and consult in the fields of workplace, governance, management, community, elder, neighbourhood and faith.

 I am a founding member of World Mediators Alliance on Climate change (WoMACC). This means that I try to conduct my practice as close to carbon neutral as possible without it diminishing my effectiveness as a mediator and teacher of dispute resolution.


Fellow of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand FAMINZ (Med)

Fellow of the Resolution Institute

AMINZ Panel of Mediators and Family Dispute Resolution List



Bachelor Social Work: Massey University Palmerston North New Zealand (1986)

Post Graduate Diploma in Business (Dispute Resolution): Massey University Palmerston North New Zealand (2010)​​

Te Reo Maori Level Two (Te Wananga o Aotearoa) 2013

Fellowship (Mediation) of the Arbitrators’ & Mediators’ Institute of NZ

Fellowship (Mediation ) of Resolution Institute NZ

Australian National Mediation Accreditation (NMAS)

bottom of page