Dispute Resolution Processes

About Disputes

Dispute Resolution Processes

Dispute Resolution is a collective term for processes for resolving disputes.

Dispute Resolution processes have many advantages including:

  • confidentiality
  • ability to tailor the process to the dispute
  • choice of dispute resolver
  • empowering the parties
  • cost effectiveness
  • speed
  • ability to enhances relationships, including business relationships

If you want information regarding the dispute resolution technique that would suit you, click here.

If you are seeking a dispute resolution professional click here.

Dispute resolution processes are:


Arbitration is a process for the settlement of disputes in which an independent and impartial arbitrator makes a decision to settle a dispute after considering the representations of the parties. The arbitrator's decision is called an "award" and is normally final and binding on the parties. The award is written and is enforceable by the courts. The Arbitration Act 1996 contains statutory provisions that govern the arbitration process.

Download the Arbitration Protocol

Download the Arbitration Act 1996

Download the Arbitration Amendment Act 2007


Mediation is a confidential and consensual dispute resolution process in which an independent and impartial mediator facilitates negotiation between the parties to assist them to resolve their dispute. Neither the parties nor the mediator are limited by rules of evidence.

The mediator is not a decision-maker, and the process is based on achieving co-operation between the parties. The mediator assists the parties to make their own decisions and agreements. The mediator's role is to guide the process so that the issues can be defined, the relevant information produced and options explored without undue delay or legalistic procedures.

When a dispute is resolved in mediation, a written agreement which sets out the outcomes of the issues that have been resolved at the mediation is signed by the parties.

Download the Mediation Protocol


The simplest way for disputing parties to sort out problems is to negotiate a satisfactory solution. Negotiation is a process of communication in which parties or their representatives work to reach agreement. Negotiation may or may not settle or resolve the dispute, but it should be the first step taken toward achieving a resolution.


Facilitation is a process which is similar to mediation but is more flexible. A facilitator can assist parties to resolve a dispute by negotiation, consultation, information-gathering and problem-solving. A facilitator works with parties to assist in managing communication and potential conflict thereby preventing the escalation of conflict. A facilitator will not provide answers; rather a facilitator will ask questions, assist people to reach increased understanding and assist people to find answers for themselves and make decisions for themselves.


Conciliation is a process in which the parties to a dispute, with the assistance of a neutral conciliator, identify the issues, develop options and try to reach agreement. A conciliator may have an advisory role on the content of the dispute or the outcome, but not a determinative role.

AMINZ administers the National Panel of Sharemilking Conciliators under the Sharemilking Agreements Order 2001.


Investigation is a dispute resolution process which may be carried out in response to an allegation or complaint. An investigator works within the policies and procedures of the organization involved. After fully investigating a complaint or allegation an investigator submits an objective report which includes the investigators conclusions and any recommendations. The investigator is not a decision-maker but rather is engaged to provide objective information to assist a decision-maker.

Expert Determination

An expert is instructed by the parties to investigate and use his or her own expertise to determine the issues in dispute. The expert may make a determination with or without submissions from the parties and acts within the terms of reference set out by the parties.


The Construction Contracts Act 2002 came into force on 1 April 2003. The Act provides quick and simple dispute resolution procedures and remedies for payment claims and building defects under construction contracts.

AMINZ is an authorised nominating authority under the Construction Contracts Act 2002. After serving a Notice of Adjudication under Section 28(2) of the Act, a party may request AMINZ to nominate an adjudicator.

For an application form to request a nomination of an adjudicator, click here.

Download the Adjudication Protocol.

All experts in the above areas can be found on our website: Click here . All of the professionals on AMINZ mediation and arbitration panels are trained, credentialed and experienced in specific areas of dispute resolution.