Alternative Dispute Resolution

EcoRate Ltd, trading as Dispute Settlement Associates provides, to the construction sector and the wider commercial world, alternative dispute resolution services (ADR).  Keith Huntington can be engaged as a professional commercial mediator and can also be appointed as an Adjudicator under the provisions of the Construction Contracts Act 2002 and its Amendments (CCAct).  His particular interest in ADR procedures began in England while studying for his UK architectural registration, and continued with some law studies at Victoria University.  He has a Dip.Bus.Stud. (Dispute Resolution) from Massey University.


Keith is a Mediation Fellow of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand Inc (AMINZ) and also a member of the Resolution Institute (formerly known as LEADR – Lawyers Engaged in Alternative Dispute resolution).  He is included on the Mediator Panels of both organisations.  Keith is also included on the AMINZ Panel of Adjudicators able to be appointed under the CCAct.


MEDIATION:  Keith has been involved in providing mediation services since the late 1980s and has been a Warranted Non-Crown Independent Tenancy Mediator, as well as a founding Mediator for the Weathertight Homes Resolution Service.


Mediation is a most useful general tool that is easily tailored to any particular situation.  Because it is not ‘Judicial’ it allows a wide exploration and clarification of the matters of concern to the Parties, and therefore for a broad range of possible outcomes to be explored.  Often interpersonal difficulties can be significant (but unspoken) in the origin of disputes and Mediation allows for a safe acknowledgement of these and thereby allows for subsequent unexpected resolutions.  Any agreed settlement that is properly expressed as a written contract can often be presented to a judicial forum for enforcement.


Often it is not recognised that Mediation is also useful as a preparatory process for anticipated judicial actions.  This is expanded on the Mediation Page.


CONSTRUCTION CONTRACT ADJUDICATION:   Adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2002, and Amendments, (CCAct), is a quick and efficient statutory process for obtaining an enforceable resolution for disputes within the building industry, without the disadvantages and delays of formal arbitration.  Its processes are quite different to the traditional judicial paths.  Keith has been undertaking CCAct adjudications since its inception and is included on the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of NZ (AMINZ) able to be appointed under the CCAct.


EXPERT DETERMINATIONS & FORENSIC ARCHITECTURE REPORTS:   Expert Determinations are suitable for disputes where the law is simple but the Partes have different opinions regarding the quality of work or services to be provided under a Contract.  They are especially appropriate for small scale construction work where financial restrictions can negate a Just Outcome.


With an extensive background in architecture, Keith has been engaged over the years to investigate and report on matters associated with building disputes, and to prepare expert evidence for legal negotiations and actions.


FACILITATION and DISPUTE MANAGEMENT:  When the road gets a bit ‘rocky’ Parties can head-off the escalation of many disputes by acknowledging the potential early and before the difficulties gel with the Parties believing that they are at what seems to be the point-of-no-return.  By bringing in an independent facilitator the differences can be addressed, misunderstandings clarified, and (if necessary) the options for further outside assistance can be discussed and agreed.

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