Session 3

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Session 3: How can Dispute Resolution be Improved? (Overcoming Obstacles and Challenges) 

13:30 - 15:00 pm

Nina Khouri (Moderator) is a mediator specialising in civil and commercial disputes.  She is also a Senior Lecturer at the University of Auckland Faculty of Law, where she teaches and researches in the field of dispute resolution. She holds an LLM in dispute resolution and legal theory from NYU, where she studied as a Fulbright Scholar, and has mediated disputes in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand.  She is also an experienced civil litigator who has appeared as counsel in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, first with Russell McVeagh and then with the specialist litigation firm Gilbert Walker.  She serves on the International Standards Commission of the International Mediation Institute and the Higher Courts Education Committee of the Institute for Judicial Studies.  

Warren Sowerby is widely considered to be one of New Zealand’s pre-eminent legal/commercial mediators.  He is consistently selected to facilitate the resolution of significant local, national and international disputes.  Warren has completed more than 2,500 commercial mediations involving participants from New Zealand, the United Kingdom, United States, Japan, South Korea, Australia, China, Singapore, Europe and Russia.  These have involved infrastructure, aviation, construction, finance, media/entertainment, forestry, telecommunications, sport, national and international joint ventures, insurance, health and Treaty of Waitangi issues.  As one of the most influential law practitioners involved in the practice of mediation has played a major role in transforming the use and practice of commercial mediation within New Zealand.

Martin Oettli is General Manager of the Real Living Group, a retirement village operator, with three villages in Auckland and one currently under construction in Warkworth.  Prior to his role with Real Living Group Martin held senior management roles with DB Breweries Limited, TR Group Limited and Fertility Associates Limited. He is a Justice of the Peace and holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Waikato. Martin was involved in the recent review of the Retirement Villages Code of Practice. Material changes were made to the way complaints are processed and managed and the role of mediation in the disputes process was introduced. Martin has a love of golf and is on the board of the Pakuranga Golf Club.

John Green is the founder and a Director of the New Zealand Dispute Resolution Centre (NZDRC); the New Zealand International Arbitration Centre (NZIAC); the Building Disputes Tribunal (BDT); the New Zealand Family Dispute Resolution Centre (FDR Centre); and the BuildSafe Security of Payment Scheme - BuildSafe®. He is the Editor of BuildLaw® and ReSolution®.  John is a past President of AMINZ, a Past President of the Master Builders Association (Auckland) Inc. and a founding Council Member of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand Inc. He acted as a Weathertight Homes Adjudicator for nine years and has been appointed in more than 1,200 building, construction and infrastructure disputes over the past 26 years relating to residential, commercial and industrial construction projects, power stations, gas fields, manufacturing and processing plants, stadiums, hotels, land subdivisions, roading, railways, wharves, marinas, drainage, wastewater treatment plants, recycling plants, mining, services, and utilities, involving domestic and internationally based parties, complex technical and legal matters, and sums in dispute exceeding $100M. 

Miriam R Dean CNZM QC is a Queens Counsel and company director; as well as an experienced mediator and arbitrator.  She is a former partner of Russell McVeagh and President of the New Zealand Bar Association - the first woman in both roles.  She is currently Chair of NZ On Air and the Banking Ombudsman Scheme and a director of Crown Fibre Holdings Limited; Otakaro Limited; and a trustee of the Royal New Zealand Ballet.  As well as extensive commercial mediation experience, Miriam was appointed late 2015 to facilitate discussions with engineers on options for the repair, restoration or replacement of Christchurch Cathedral and to report to Government on the outcome.  More recently she undertook an independent review of the Acclaim Otago report into accident compensation dispute resolution processes.  Her report included some very practical recommendations to improvement the FairWay review process.

Amokura Kawharu is an Associate Professor in law at Auckland University. She joined the Law Faculty's academic staff in 2005 after working for several years in private legal practice in Auckland and in Sydney. Her research interests include international trade and investment law, arbitration, and international disputes resolution. Currently, Amokura is researching and writing about developments in regional investment treaty policy and practice, and on a more theoretical level, the potential emergence of an international arbitral legal order. She also contributes regular reviews on disputes settlement for the New Zealand Law Review and co-authored the leading text on New Zealand arbitration law with Sir David Williams QC, Williams & Kawharu on Arbitration (LexisNexis, 2011). Amokura is an Associate of AMINZ, and a member of the LCIA and the Australian and New Zealand Society of International Law (she co-chairs the Society's International Economic Law interest group).