Keith Huntington

Keith Huntington B.Arch; Dip.Urb.Val; Dip.Bus.Stud (Dispute Resolution); FNZIA; FAMINZ; LEADR, is a New Zealand Registered Architect (RAB#1372) who in 1991 established Dispute Settlement Associates to undertake commercial mediations and later Construction Contract Act 2002 adjudications.  He is a Fellow Member of both the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of NZ (AMINZ), and the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA).  Also he is an Associate of LEADR (Lawyers Engaged in Dispute Resolution – now Resolution Institute).  Keith is a Mediation Panel member of both AMINZ and LEADR, and named on the AMINZ Construction Adjudication List.  His membership of the Society of Construction Law – New Zealand (SCL) provides more targeted professional support to supplement that provided by AMINZ and LEADR.

Through EcoRate Ltd t/a Dispute Settlement Associates Keith provides Mediation services to the Commercial sector, and primarily the Construction industry.

Keith’s architectural career began with a Ministry of Works (MoW) educational scholarship to Auckland University and he worked in both Head and Wellington District Offices of the Ministry of Works to gain N.Z. architectural registration before travelling to Britain for three years.  While in England he gained UK Architectural Registration (from which he has now resigned).  He returned to architectural employment in Wellington with TSE Group Architects before joining Toomath Wilson Irvine Anderson Ltd, which later re-formed into Toomath Irvine Huntington Ltd.  Since the retirement of the other partners, Keith has practiced as EcoRate Ltd so as to concentrate on the passive thermal energy computer modelling, sustainable architecture and other consultancy services he now offers to registered architects and architectural designers and their Clients.  His wide architectural experience also informs the forensic architectural reports he provides for construction dispute situations.

In the early 2000s he was appointed as one of the founding mediators of the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service, and subsequently also as a Special Advisor to the Building Practitioners Board, and later as an Assessor and Auditor for Homestar Certifications as awarded by the NZ Green Building Council.  At the turn of the Millenium, when mediation received a spurt of enthusiasm from the Judiciary, Keith was appointed to a ministerial working party reviewing Civil Court Fees which led to being invited by the then Department of Courts to join a small research advisory committee overseeing their Alternative Disputes Resolution Research Programme.

Keith’s interest in Alternative Dispute Resolution began during his O.E. when tutored for his UK architectural registration by an international Arbitrator (and Architect) involved in Middle East arbitrations.  Interest also flowed from the practice of architecture itself which brings together many and varied conflicting requirements to produce a ‘best fit’ result.  Conciliation and mediation skills are also used in handling the numerous and diverse personal relationships present in the construction sector so as to ensure that work progresses without disruption.  Keith has been involved in commercial mediation since the late 1980s.

In addition to a continual participation in seminars, conferences and short courses etc, Keith completed a Massey University Diploma course in Dispute Resolution (Mediation) in 1997, as well as individual Legal System, Law in Society, and Contract Law courses. Other training has been from CDR Associates – Colorado (1991 & 1997), Conflict Management Group – Boston (1998), and ‘Transformative Mediation’ from Bush & Folger – USA (1997).

During 1998 Keith delivered a series of half-day professional development seminars on mediation to NZIA members in nine cities.  Over the decades Keith has participated within his professional bodies in various roles, and was a NZIA Branch Chairperson and National Councillor.  He continues to interview prospective AMINZ members and is still a coach for AMINZ and LEADR mediation training courses.  Since 2000 Keith has been a Mentor for Business Mentors New Zealand through the Wellington Chamber of Commerce.