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standard terms of engagement

Below are the standard terms of engagement for the Tūhono Collective - Mediation Services

mediation terms of engagement


1. The purpose of these engagement terms is to set out the basis upon which you appoint us as mediator(s). 

2. Unless we agree different engagement terms in writing these terms, together with the mediation agreement, apply to this appointment.


3. Our engagement does not create an employment agreement. 


Mediator’s role


4. The mediator’s role is set out the mediation agreement. In particular, the role entails the following:


5. The mediator and each party will use their best endeavours to resolve the Dispute by:

      (a) systematically identifying the issues in dispute; 

      (b) developing alternatives and options for the resolution of the Dispute;       

      (c) exploring the usefulness of each alternative; and 

      (d) seeking to achieve a resolution which is acceptable to the parties and which meets their interests and needs. 


6. The mediator will be neutral and impartial. 

7. The mediator will not: 


      (a) give legal or other professional advice to any party; 

      (b) impose an outcome on any party; or 

      (c) make any decision for any of the parties. 


8. The mediator can meet with the parties jointly and/or separately, as the mediator determines. 


Our approach

9. As a Kaupapa Māori collective, we are able to provide bespoke tikanga-based solutions to meet your needs. Our mediators are training in delivering the Tūhono model of practice. You can find out more about this model via the Tūhono website

Fee Structure 


10. Our fee structure is based on our expertise and experience, the level of complexity of your matter, the importance of urgency, the value of any property involved, prevailing market rates and the financial means of the payer. 


11. Our standard hourly fee is $500 + GST. This standard fee however can be adjusted, sometimes substantially, to suit particular circumstances. It would disappoint us if considerations of cost prevented our being engaged.


12. We are agreeable to a fixed fee or a capped maximum fee. Our standard half-day (<4 hours) mediation rate is $1,750.00 + GST and our standard whole-day (>4 hour & <8 hours) rate is $3,500.00 + GST.

  1. The fees include: 

    1. intake tasks and administration;

    2. preparing a mediation agreement; 

    3. pre-mediation meeting(s); 

    4. mediation meeting; and 

    5. *all out of pocket expenses, including but not limited to, printing of electronic files, flights, taxis, accommodation etc, subject to the following clause.

  1. The only costs not included in the fee are: 

    1. large volume copying of documents (100+ pages); 

    2. venue and catering charges (should we arrange room hire and catering); 

    3. pre-mediation in person meetings and any associated costs; and 

    4. second night and additional accommodation and expenses. 


12. The Fees are usually shared equally among the parties unless otherwise agreed in writing.  Disbursements, however parties are free to agree otherwise. 


13. We do not bill for routine after care/follow up of up to one hour. However, if post mediation work takes more time or if a second mediation day or if conference calls are required the fees as above (or a prorated hourly rate) will apply. 


Billing and payment 


14. We will email a tax invoice as soon as possible following the completion of the mediation. 


15. Payment is due within seven days of invoice and any outstanding fees and costs attract interest at the rate of 2% per month or part thereof. 


16. We reserve the right to request advance payment of the fee. 


Cancellations and Postponement 


17. When a mediation date is booked, we are committed to that date as well as a period of preparation in advance of it. Where parties cancel or postpone a mediation it is rarely possible to make use of the slot reserved. Our cancellation and postponement terms are designed to cope fairly with this situation. 


18. Once a date for the mediation has been fixed, all persons who then participate in the mediation preparations do so on the basis that they accept liability in equal shares for any cancellation or postponement fees that may be incurred. Please note that this liability is not dependent on a mediation agreement being signed as this often will not be signed until the day of the mediation. Neither is it dependent on who has caused or requested the delay. 


19. If you or your clients would like to discuss alternative arrangements, such as a provisional booking, please discuss it with us.


20. If a mediation is cancelled or postponed at any time after a date is set, we may charge 25% of the fee covering the intake time. 


21. If a mediation is cancelled or postponed within 21 days of the mediation date, we will charge 50% of the fee and if it is cancelled or postponed within 10 days of the mediation date, we will charge 100% of the mediation fee. 


22. Where we reasonably incur expenses (for instance, venue, travel or accommodation) prior to a mediation and these are unrecoverable after cancellation or postponement the parties will be liable in equal shares for these. 

23. We do understand that cancellation or postponement is sometimes unavoidable so please discuss with us to come to a sensible arrangement. 


Mediation file 


24. We will keep on file only the mediation agreement signed by the parties which we will send in electronic form to you after the mediation together with any settlement agreement we are provided at the conclusion of the mediation. We will return any documents provided to us upon request or destroy them by a secure method soon after the mediation. 


Conflicts of interest 


25. We will disclose to the parties and/or their representatives any properly disclosable conflicts that we are aware of. 

26. If in the course of the mediation we become aware of any circumstances that might reasonably be considered to affect our capacity to act impartially, we will inform the parties and/or their legal advisors. 




27. Maintaining client confidentiality is fundamental. We do not disclose any confidential information unless required and authorised by a client, or by the law. 


28. As a result of providing services to you we may have reason to collect information on your organisation and personal information pertaining to candidates we assess on your behalf. Personal and candidate information will be held on a confidential basis, and will remain retrievable by you as long as is necessary to serve the purpose for which data was originally collected. Under the Privacy Act 1993 you have the right to access and correct any personal information. Some candidate information will be retained for statistical purposes and in an anonymised format.


Limited Liability 


29. We acknowledge that any breach of contracted terms of service may cause financial losses to the Client not only directly but by liability to contractors, suppliers, other consultants, involved in the Project so that consequently such losses may be included in compensation for which it is liable to the Client. 

30. We are not liable to you for any consequential loss, including loss of profits, even if you advised us or we knew or should have known of the possibility of such loss. Any claim against us shall be limited entirely to a refund of part or all of our charge for the transaction in dispute. 

31. If you have a dispute regarding our fees you agree in the first instance to contact the agent assigned to you. 




32. We may update these terms of engagement from time to time and will notify you of any such updated terms. We encourage you to contact us with any comments or questions about these terms of engagement.




33. By appointing us as mediator you accept these terms of engagement unless we otherwise agree in writing. 

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