Family Works Resolution Service Manager Wins Top Award

Press Release – Family Works

Family Works Resolution Service Manager Wins NZ Law Awards Mediator of the Year

Family Works Resolution Service Manager Timothy McMichael has been named Mediator of the Year at the prestigious New Zealand Law awards in Auckland.

Mr McMichael was one of seven finalists from throughout New Zealand who were nominated for the NZ Law Awards Resolution Institute – Mediator of the Year and was the only finalist who is also an NZQA qualified coach and assessor.

Mr McMichael, who set up the Family Works Resolution Service in April 2014 following changes to the Family Court, has had more than three decades of experience in the fields of family justice, counselling and family mediation in Britain, the United States and New Zealand.

In 2015 he won a Resolution Institute Practitioner Award for his contribution to developing and promoting dispute resolution in New Zealand communities.

A passionate advocate of dispute resolution for separatied and separating Kiwi families, Mr McMichael said he was humbled to be chosen from the well qualified cohort of finalists who included lawyers from the Ministry of Business Innovation, large respected Wellington legal firms and a legal academic from Auckland University.

“I am passionate about bringing family mediation to more and more New Zealanders and if receipt of this award, by increasing my profile, also increases the profile of the Family Works Resolution Service, that can only be of benefit to separating and separated Kiwi parents.”

Mr McMichael said the award also recognises that Dispute Resolution sits clearly within the New Zealand legal system.

“The fact that this is a legal award means that dispute resolution, be it mediation or arbitration, sits alongside all other kinds of court process.”

Resolution Institute, which sponsored the award, is the leading Australasian mediation, arbitration, training and accreditation body, setting national standards for mediation in New Zealand and Australia.

“Resolution Institute continues to push the bar up higher for mediation competency which only increases further the value and effectiveness of DR services. Judges said the award recognised the work that Mr McMichael and his Family Works Resolution Service team were doing with two indigenous practitioners in the Far North to support them as they become trained, qualified and accredited mediators within their communities.

The mediators, Dale Johnson and Tania Henderson of Far North Reap in Kaitaia, are due to begin working as mediators at the start of 2018.

The 13th annual New Zealand Law Awards brought together industry leaders to celebrate excellence in the legal profession and other industry professionals across New Zealand.

About Family Works Resolution Service (FWRS)

FWRS is part of Family Works Northern which provides a range of social services that support children and their families.

FWRS offers the biggest Family Dispute Resolution (FDR) service in the upper North Island with services helping families in Northland, Auckland, Waikato/Lakes District, the Bay of Plenty and the East Coast.

FWRS has around 40 Ministry of Justice-accredited mediators and more cases pro-rata than the region’s second largest provider of FDR.

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