Mediation within the Tribunal
The following information outlines how mediation within the Tribunal will work.
Mediation is a confidential settlement discussion. It provides parties with an opportunity to find a mutually acceptable resolution to a disputed claim. Taking part in mediation will not prevent adjudication at the Canterbury Earthquakes Insurance Tribunal if the mediation is not successful in settling the outstanding issues.
The mediator is neutral and impartial. They act as a facilitator, communicator, motivator and scene-setter, creating the appropriate environment for the process to be effective. They do not provide legal advice, make a decision, or impose an outcome on any party. The mediator will hear and encourage each party to listen to the other party’s concerns and issues.
When parties agree to mediation, they will each have the chance to speak and be listened to, to ask questions, and to state their point of view.
A mediator will help parties work out a resolution they both agree on.
If the parties agree to a settlement at any point during the Tribunal process, including at mediation, the terms of the settlement are recorded as a formal decision. Mediation settlements are confidential, binding and enforceable.
When mediation may occur
Mediation can take place at any point after the Tribunal accepts your claim.
At any time following the first case management conference the Tribunal may, after consulting you and your insurer, direct that the claim goes to mediation.
MBIE will provide an independent, professional mediator at no cost to the parties.
You will be notified of the mediation venue, date and all other relevant details.
Expectations of mediation
You will be required to participate in mediation or provide appropriate notice if you cannot.
Mediation can be very effective when all parties are informed and authorised to settle. For example, a person representing a company would need to have authority to sign an agreement on the company’s behalf.
If you choose to attend mediation or are directed to mediation, you should expect to negotiate and possibly compromise with the other party during the process.
Timeframe for mediation
The Tribunal can set a time limit on the mediation process to keep a claim progressing.
The parties may bring their lawyers, relevant experts (the parties’ advisors) and support person/s to the mediation.
People can represent themselves at mediation; however, lawyers can be very helpful in assisting parties to present their view of the dispute – particularly in assembling the facts, and setting out the law.
All discussions, and the details of agreements that take place in mediation, are completely confidential. All documents created for the purposes of mediation are also confidential.
The mediator is not able to be called as a witness, referred to or relied on in any other proceedings.
Information related to the mediation may be gathered for research, educational, monitoring and evaluation purposes so long as the parties and specific matters in issue are not identifiable.
Reaching an agreement
If your claim, or part of your claim, is settled at mediation, MBIE will notify the Tribunal. We will also send a copy of the agreed terms of settlement to all parties. Mediation settlements are confidential, binding and enforceable.
If you can’t settle your claim at mediation, it will go back to the Tribunal.
Find out more
The Ministry of Justice website(external link) has more information on the Tribunal and how the Tribunal works.
MBIE is happy to help answer any questions. Contact us for more information.