Mediation

To meet and talk with someone that you perceive has harmed you in some way, is a very difficult thing to do. I provide face to face and on- line mediation and while I am best known in providing mediation  in the care of children related disputes, I also mediate in workplace, faith based disputes, elder care, neighbourhood and community  disputes.
The Process

Your lawyer, employer, friend, family member or health professional may refer you, or you can simply refer yourself by phoning me on 021 900 145 (NZ) or +6421900145 (overseas) or emailing me, nicola@nicolahartfield.com

 

I will ask you a few questions about the issue and who is involved and take your contact details. I will then contact the other people involved and send you all out some information about the process, the fees and any other likely costs you might incur. If all parties wish to proceed I arrange with you a first meeting.

First Meeting

I meet with you and your support person and/or lawyer, if you choose to have one present. I will explain the Agreement to Mediate or an Agreement to a Facilitated Discussion and answer any of your questions about the process. If you are ready to proceed to the next step, I ask you to sign the Agreement. The Agreement will explain my role as mediator, your right to a standard of professional care and ethical responsibility from me, confidentiality and the running of the mediation process.

I will ask you about the dispute, how long it has been around, how you have previously tried to resolve it, and what outcomes you desire. I will carefully explain the process ahead and guide you through it.

Joint Meeting

As long as all parties agree to meet together, we proceed to a joint meeting. If not, I manage the process in a series of individual meetings or a combination of both individual and joint meetings. The process will be tailored to the needs of the parties. I will lead you through the rough moments when resolution might seem unattainable, take time out with all parties, equip each person with ideas of how to get their views and concerns heard by the other party, and facilitate the process so that you are able to reach agreement. You are able to refer to and consult with your lawyer at any time if they are not in attendance.

Agreement

When you reach agreement or settlement about any or all of the matters, you decide how you would like this written up and by whom. All parties sign and receive a copy of the Mediated Agreement.  If you do not reach settlement, you may agree as part of this process what steps you need to take next, in order to resolve the matter.

Fees

Fees are set for each hour involved in all aspects of the mediation process. Fees are usually shared evenly among the parties involved, unless another arrangement is entered into. Each party will meet their own legal costs if they chose to have their lawyer present at the meetings, or any other professional that either party may wish to be present. Please contact me for my fee schedule.

Workplace Mediation

Our workplace is our second home and so it is fraught with assumptions and expectations that when not met, can lead to serious conflict and dispute. I have been a workplace supervisor and consultant since 2006, working in private, Government, and NGO settings. I mediate workplace disputes outside of investigations, and where staff, management and boards need to reset behaviours, processes and attitudes, in order to gain safety and well-being at work. 

Family Disputes

Family dispute resolution is a specialised field of work and requires expertise and understanding in the following areas;

  • The impact of separation for the child/ren involved

  • Understanding grief and loss

  • Understanding family systems

  • Understanding attachment theory

  • Understanding child growth and development

  • Upholding the child/ren’s voice in the mediation

  • The ability to assess safety for parties and children

  • The ability to work with high emotion

  • Understanding power and control and how this impacts on parties

  • Understanding step family integration and same-sex relationships

  • Understanding how culture and ethnicity shape family life

  • The ability to assist parents to build a co-parenting relationship and make guardianship and care decisions for their children.

I do not mediate in matters of Relationship Property.

My experience in Family Dispute Resolution (FDR)

Voted as being in the top 10 family mediators in New Zealand – NZ National Business Review (July 2014).

 

​​My experience in family disputes is extensive. I began working with families in 1986 as a hospital based social worker in the field of child health, assisting families manage the process of dying, in the behavioural and emotional health of children, and working in elder care.

 

Additional to this work, I have held contracts providing Specialist Child Reports for the Family Court (2002-2007), chairing the Napier Care and Protection Resource Panel (2003-2009), providing education in domestic violence, providing Family Court counselling and mediation.

Voice of Child Specialist

I provide Voice of Child interviews with children, for parents who wish their children’s voice to be heard, in a mediation setting.

Mediation Supervision

I provide face to face or online supervision to family dispute resolution mediators.

Elder Person Mediation

As our population ages, more individuals and their families are facing difficult decisions about living situations, family homes, property and personal care. These decisions can be emotional and challenging to all involved even when everyone is “on the same page.”  They become rapidly more complex and distressful when there is disagreement about what should happen or how it should happen.

Why choose Elder Person Mediation?

As we age, new stresses emerge on individuals and families and new directions need to be sought. Facilitated discussions or mediation, assists with understanding and discussing the changes and options available in a careful and managed way. Often decisions involve the entire family and having an independent and impartial person to manage the meeting, ensures that all people present at mediation can be heard and listened to and considered decisions made by all.

This gives the best opportunity for a family to work together and significantly reduces the risk of misunderstanding between family members and conflict to arise due to this. It gives the elder person, or their representative, the ability to make decisions that are right for them with privacy, dignity and self-determination.

Elder Person Facilitated Discussion and Mediation addresses a wide variety of concerns.

  • Reconciliation and mending relationships

  • Inheritance, Estate and Trust matters etc.

  • Residence options

  • Family communication

  • Decision making processes

  • Including the voice of the Older Person

  • Family members’ roles and responsibilities

  • Caregiver burnout

  • Assistance to avoid court guardianships

  • Driving and transportation

  • Finances and bill paying

  • Personal property distribution

  • Legacy

  • Medical decisions

  • End of Life decision-making

  • Planning and anticipating issues before crises develop

I have experience in elder person issues in the role of social worker, adjudicator and mediator, since 1986 and  worked alongside rest home facilities, residents, trustees, hospitals and carers at home, to facilitate successful transitions in and out of care. As an adjudicator for the Ministry of Social Development’s Review of Benefit Committee I have determined outcomes around elder person’s benefit entitlement and have mediated and found solutions to seemingly intractable family estate issues.

I have been approved by The Retirement Commission and appointed to the AMINZ list of mediators working with Elder Person disputes.

Community Disputes

I have been engaged as a mediator by sports groups, faith based groups, neighbourhood and community groups.