DIY dispute resolution

Written by Chris Pickering

In any building project, there are many moving parts. All it takes is one issue for the whole project to be put on hold, resulting in consequences for everyone involved.

Fair Way has been providing dispute resolution services for the building and construction sector for several years, including an independent resolution service for Master Builders. It was clear to us that the construction sector needed an informal but quick and cost-effective solution to resolve matters as they arise, and keep their projects moving. So, in a first for Fair Way we are now offering an online dispute resolution service. 

Online dispute resolution

Online dispute resolution is a way to resolve issues online, anytime, and anywhere. Simply login, follow the steps and keep up to date with the dispute’s progress online. This makes it much easier for everyone to be on the same page.

Beginning the process is easy too, all through the online platform where you can provide your details, the details of the other party, and upload any relevant documents or photos. The other party will be notified by email that you want to sort out the dispute and they can respond immediately. 

Once both you and the other party are engaged, you are invited to enter an online negotiation process where you can accept or reject offers. If you do not reach agreement, you can progress to mediation or adjudication online with a Fair Way practitioner at an additional cost.

People behind the platform

While the process is all online, it is still powered by the Fair Way team.

We keep an eye on things, and we will make a call to the other party to encourage them to participate, if they don’t engage right away. We are also here to answer any questions and to make sure you can get online and start resolving any disputes.

Just like all Fair Way services, you can get help from our team along the way.

From builders to beyond

Online dispute resolution offers the major benefit of enabling you to resolve your issues anytime and anywhere when you have time available. It is also a swift process, as you do not have to wait for a tribunal or court to allocate time for a hearing (or indeed take time off to attend a hearing).

Of course, not every dispute is suited to online dispute resolution. Mediators work wonders in complex situations and there is definitely a place for determinative processes like adjudication and arbitration. However, for less complex matters online dispute resolution is a good option as it gives the parties a framework to navigate the dispute, define the issue and reach an agreement.

While building and construction has been our initial focus, we can see potential for many other sectors and organisations.

If you would like to discuss online dispute resolution, please contact

About the author

Chris Pickering is Client Manager for Commercial Services at Fair Way and is based in Auckland. Chris comes from a legal background specialising in litigation and dispute resolution (with an emphasis on employment).

Having grown up on a farm near Cambridge, Chris moved to Wellington to study law & arts before beginning his professional career at Police National Headquarters, and following admission as a barrister and solicitor, a litigation role at a law firm in Auckland.

Chris spent more than ten years working in the UK, with varied roles across central and local government and the Commission for Racial Equality (a non-government organisation). On returning to NZ, he first worked for a QC, then at an employment specialist law firm before joining Fair Way in late 2017.

Chris has been admitted as a solicitor in New Zealand and England, and is an Associate Member of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand (AMINZ).