The Building Disputes Tribunal maintains two panels of mediators.
All Building Disputes Tribunal mediators have been appointed to the Tribunal’s panels because of their extensive knowledge and expertise in mediating building and construction disputes.
Some mediators come from legal backgrounds, some have an engineering, architectural and/or quantity surveying background and others have been builders, project managers and/or building consultants – all have extensive knowledge of building and construction practice, building and construction law in New Zealand and mediation law and practice.
The Building Disputes Tribunal provides a continuing professional development programme for its mediators to ensure consistency and excellence in the delivery of its services. All mediators on the Tribunal’s panels are required to maintain appropriate levels of continuing professional development.
In essence, the maintenance of two panels of mediators by the Tribunal simply recognises and respects the different levels of expertise and experience of the constituent members just as it does in any other dispute resolution forum i.e. the courts.
The Tribunal’s Principal Mediators are the most experienced, knowledgeable and respected building and construction mediators in New Zealand today.
The Tribunal’s Principal Mediators are recognised as the leaders in building and construction mediation in New Zealand and by virtue of their experience and standing, the Principal Mediators may be appointed by the Tribunal to mediate disputes of any nature and claims of any value.
The mediators on the Tribunal’s General Panel have been selected by the Tribunal because of their extensive knowledge and experience in mediating building and construction disputes.
Generally the jurisdiction of the mediators on the Tribunal’s General Panel is limited to disputes up to the value of $100,000.00. However, mediators on the Tribunal’s General Panel are often appointed together with a Principal Mediator to co-mediate large disputes involving multiple parties.
The value of claims in respect of which the mediators on the General Panel may be nominated to mediate has been fixed by the Tribunal in direct response to the expectations and requirements of the industry and the legal profession for a proportionate response to mediating building disputes by mediators. In simple terms, parties and their advisers expect, and indeed require, that disputes involving large sums of money, which by their very nature typically involve more technically and legally complex matters, should be dealt with by those persons with the most experience and knowledge. The situation simply mirrors civil litigation where the jurisdiction of the District Court is limited to $200,000.00 whereas the High Court has no upper limit.