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Home > Country profiles > New Zealand > Articles > Article detail

Mediation centre to benefit country

Thursday, 8th February 2019

"Cook Islands could benefit from a mediation centre to deal with civil disputes, according to legal experts

The suggestion is an initiative by Ministry of Justice Secretary Tamatoa Jonassen and Cook Islands lawyer Catherine Evans.

Jonassen said: “I came to the conclusion many years ago - while doing a Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution with the Matsunaga Institute for Peace - that the Cook Islands could benefit from having a mediation centre.

“I know I am not the only Cook Islander to come to that same conclusion.”

Jonassen confirmed that the centre is not intended to come under the Ministry of Justice, but is a non-profit initiative that can assist the resolution of some conflicts before they are taken to court. 

Jonassen said the Cook Islands Law Society has held mediation training over the past two years that have resulted in several trained mediators in the Cook Islands.

However, he said that mediation is happening on more of an ad hoc basis.

“It is our intention that the Mediation Centre will be a contact point in arranging mediations, accrediting mediators, providing mediation training and conducting awareness workshops and community outreach.

“The centre should assist in ensuring quality control and consistency among mediators, including conflict of interest checking and can become a conduit for educating and engaging the public in conflict resolution.”

He said some Pacific countries have already established mediation centres that have benefited their communities in resolving conflicts."

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Language: English
Contact: Losirene Lacanivalu

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