Disputes panel members and agencies


The Retirement Commissioner administers the disputes process and approves the appointment of members to the disputes panel. The Commissioner also approves and lists alternative dispute resolution agencies with mediators who may be used in resolving formal complaints under the Code of Practice.

Disputes panel members


The Retirement Commissioner has approved the following people for appointment by retirement village operators as members of disputes panels through to 12 February 2022. 

Members are listed in alphabetical order by surname. If the member is eligible to chair a disputes panel in a disposal dispute, this is noted. 

  • Rob Ashcroft: BE Hons, Fellow AMINZ, Member of the AMINZ Panel of Arbitrators and the AMINZ List of Adjudicators

    After qualifying as a professional engineer, Rob has had a career spanning in excess of 40 years in construction, construction project management, and dispute resolution. His dispute resolution experience includes consensual and determinative processes, in situations that typically include disputed facts and complex contractual relationships.

    He is also a Member  of the International Chamber of Commerce NZ International Arbitration Committee, Member of the Dispute Resolution Board Foundation. Past Council Member of the NZ Society of Construction Law

    With experience as a party before the court as well as in the role of mediator or tribunal, Rob ensures the position of the parties is properly listened to and understood, and that potential power inequalities are addressed. This also applies where the parties agree that the dispute resolution is to proceed on a papers only basis with no hearing.

    Rob’s written determinations collate all relevant facts, and clearly set out the analysis, conclusions, and findings in language that is easily understood.

     

    Contact details:

    Rob Ashcroft

    21 Bendigo Grove Wellington 6037

    Mobile: 0274 777 408

    Email: rob@ashcroft.co.nz

  • David Carden: LLM, Fellow AMINZ (Arbitration/Mediation), Arbitrators' and Mediators' Panellist AMINZ, Member NZ Law Society

    A barrister since 1967, David Carden practises exclusively in dispute resolution. David is currently the Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal.  He has chaired many Tribunal Hearings and written decisions for the Tribunal on disciplinary matters in health professions. He was a Weathertight Homes Resolution Services adjudicator for three and a half years, adjudicating 86 claims.  Since appointment to the Retirement Villages Disputes Panel, David has conducted several hearings and written decisions on disputes raised.

    David has conducted adjudications under the Construction Contracts Act 2002, and many cases as arbitrator and mediator.

    David's approach to dispute resolution is to seek a speedy and cost-effective outcome consistent with the respective objectives of the parties. His experience enables effective and focused attention on the issues, facts and processes to achieve outcomes.

    Eligible as chair

     

    Contact details:

    David Carden

    PO Box 133136, Eastridge, Auckland, 1146

    Mobile: 021 307 346

  • Roger Donnell: BA, LL.B(Hons), M.JUR(Distinction) in Land Law, B.TH, Barrister and Solicitor, Notary Public, Member of NZ Law Society.

    Roger has practised law for 45 years, 35 of which have been in his own practice on the North Shore of Auckland. He specialises in property (including the sale and purchase of retirement village villas, units and apartments), elder law, wills and deceased estate administration, trusts and estate planning, commercial law, family law and dispute resolution.

    He is a Fellow of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of NZ, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators(UK), Member of the Resolution Institute (formerly LEADR), Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Notaries

    Over his many years of practice, he has been involved in a significant number of mediations, arbitrations and settlement conferences. He seeks to achieve outcomes which are legally correct, fair, pragmatic and timely.

    Roger has been married for 36 years and has 4 adult sons. His hobbies include tramping, jogging and home improvements. 

    Eligible as chair.

    Contact details:  

    Roger Donnell

    PO Box 334-052 Sunnynook, Auckland 0743

    Phone: (09) 443 0172     

    Mobile: 027 242 7390

    Email: rdonnell@dalaw.co.nz 

    rogerdonnell@gmail.com

  • Nigel Dunlop: BA, LLB, Member NZ Law Society

    Nigel has been a lawyer since 1978 and a barrister since 1995. He is a past president of the Canterbury District Law Society and Council member of the New Zealand Law Society.

    He is currently:

    • The Deputy President of the Film and Literature Board of Review, appointed by the Governor-General
    • A deputy member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, appointed by the Minister of Health ( and for many years its Convenor)
    • The Chair of a Complaints Assessment Committee under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008.
    • A lay Professional  Conduct Committee member for the Physiotherapy Board.

    Nigel is a highly experienced mediator. He has mediated a wide range of family, civil and commercial disputes, including retirement village disputes. 

    Nigel is accredited as a mediator by AMINZ , the Resolution Institute (formerly LEADR), and the NZ Law Society.

    Nigel also undertakes arbitrations and investigations.

    Eligible as chair

    Contact details:

    Nigel Dunlop

    Mobile: 021 685 910

    Web: www.nigeldunlop.co.nz

  • Claudia Elliott: LLB, Diploma in Business Studies with endorsement in dispute resolution, Master of Business Studies in Dispute Resolution, Member NZ Law Society

    Claudia Elliott FotorClaudia has been practising as a barrister and solicitor since 1986. She is appointed by the Court to act for the elderly under the Personal and Property Rights Act and as a senior solicitor to lead mediations on behalf of the Family Court. Private individuals and families also employ Claudia to mediate and make decisions on personal and property issues. She is experienced in the practical and legal issues involved in the purchase and sale of retirement village units.

    Claudia is contracted to the United Nations Development Programme, working in Afghanistan.  

    Claudia has experience in international negotiation and decision making during her work in Afghanistan for the last 5 years.

    Eligible as chair

    Contact details:

    Claudia Elliott

    PO Box 7038, Wellesley St, Auckland City

    Tel: 09 379 6572, Mob: 021 836545

    Email: claudia.elliott@celaw.co.nz

  • John Green: F.CIArb, F.AMINZ(Arb/Med). A.IAMA

    John is a professional arbitrator, adjudicator and mediator. He is a past President of the Arbitrators’ and Mediators’ Institute of New Zealand Inc., a Past President of the Master Builders Association (Auckland) Inc. and a founding Council Member of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand Inc.

    He acted as a Weathertight Homes Adjudicator for nine years and has been appointed in more than 1,200 building, construction and infrastructure disputes over the past 27 years relating to a wide variety of  residential, commercial and industrial construction projects involving domestic and internationally based parties, complex technical and legal matters, and sums in dispute exceeding $100M.

    John is the founder and a Director of: New Zealand Dispute Resolution Centre (NZDRC); New Zealand International Arbitration Centre (NZIAC); Building Disputes Tribunal (BDT); and New Zealand Family Dispute Resolution Centre (FDR Centre). He is the Editor of BuildLaw® and ReSolution®.

    Contact details:

    John Green

    PO Box 33297, Takapuna 0740

    Tel: 09 486 7153, Mobile: 021 921 752, Fax: 09 486 7144

    Email: john@nzdrc.co.nz

  • Anita Killeen: Barrister, LLB, Member New Zealand Law Society

    Anita Killeen is a Barrister at Quay Chambers specialising in financial crime and fraud, civil and criminal litigation, and governance and decision-making. Ms Killeen is the former Chief Prosecutor of the Serious Fraud Office NZ.  

    Ms Killeen has served as a Visiting Justice, a member of the New Zealand Legal Aid Tribunal, a member of the Engineering New Zealand Disciplinary Tribunal, as Deputy Chair of the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, as Chair and National President of Fertility New Zealand and as a Director of the SPCA Auckland, UNICEF NZ, the Ex-Vietnam Service Association (Neville Wallace Memorial) Children's & Grandchildren's Trust and New Zealand Career College. She established and is the Chair of the Pro-Bono Panel of Prosecutors for the SPCA Auckland.

    Admitted to the bar in 1998 she is a former Judges’ Clerk of the Auckland High Court, and assisted the late Justice Morris as counsel appointed to assist with the Ministerial Review of the Killing of Cadet Grant Bain and has undertaken secondments to London and New York to obtain work experience in fraud prosecution, extradition and proceeds of crime. She is a regularly published author nationally and internationally, a faculty member of the New Zealand Law Society Litigation Skills Programme, a member of the New Zealand Law Society’s Cost Assessors Panel, a Mediation Panel Member of Financial Services Complaints Ltd, and a member of the International Association of Prosecutors.

    She is an alumna of the Auckland University School of Law, the Harvard Business School, the London School of Economics and Political Science and the Institute for Strategic Leadership.

    Eligible as Chair.

    Contact Details:

    Anita Killeen

    Quay Chambers
    Rabobank Building

    Level 7, 2 Commerce Street, Auckland City

    PO Box 26 008, Epsom, Auckland 1344

    Mobile: 021 149 0287

    Email: anita.Killeen@xtra.co.nz

    Website: http://www.quaychambers.co.nz/

  • Jenny Leith: LLB, Fellow AMINZ (Arbitration/Mediation), Arbitrators' and Mediators' Panellist AMINZ, Advanced Mediation Panellist LEADR, Member NZ Law Society

    Since 2008 Jenny has been self-employed as a dispute resolution practitioner working as a mediator and as an arbitrator.  She works with a wide range of disputes involving family issues and relationships, property and commercial issues.  From time to time she has been employed as a Commissioner (acting alone and as chair of a panel) to hear resource management applications for local authorities.

    Jenny was in general legal practice from 1990 - 2008, working primarily in the areas of property transactions, trusts, estates and relationship property, including the purchase and sale of retirement village units.  Alongside this work she was a Tenancy Tribunal Adjudicator for 25 years.

    In managing any dispute process it is important to Jenny that all those involved feel they have had an opportunity to take part, they have been fairly heard, their view has been considered, and a decision reached without undue delay.

    Eligible as chair

     

    Contact details:

    Jenny Leith

    RD 2, Upper Moutere, 7175

    Phone: 021 231 3947

    Email: jennyleith@gmail.com

  • Dr Susan Robson: PhD(Law) (Otago) BA/LLB

    Susan is a retired lawyer of 40 years’ experience who specialised in employment and public law investigations, inquiries and disputes. She was a specialist assessor (civil litigation) for the Legal Services Agency, chief legal adviser for the Commerce Commission, chair of the Social Security Appeal Authority, chair of the Complaints Review Tribunal and member of the Employment Relations Authority.

    Susan is skilled in case management, running dispute hearings, making decisions and writing short, clear, accessible judgements, working within short timeframes, managing very committed disputants and communicating with a wide range of parties to disputes in a manner and language clearly understood by all.

    Susan is also skilled in adapting the legal process to the needs of particular disputants, obtaining agreement to a suggested dispute process and ensuring fair outcomes.

    Eligible as chair

    Contact details:

    Susan Robson

    70 Sunrise Valley Rd, Upper Moutere, Nelson

    Mobile: 027 637 8726

    Email: susan.robson@xtra.co.nz

  • Robyn Wilson: LL.M, Diploma in Business Studies (Dispute Resolution), qualified as a panel member for LEADRS.

    Robyn has had over 25 years’ experience conducting hearings and in decision making including twenty years in the Disputes Tribunal. 

    She has acted in statutory roles involving decision-making and investigations, presently including the Health Practitioners Competence Assurance Act and with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants. She has adjudicated two disputes under the Retirement Villages Act.

    She is able to respond to the need for different approaches to ensure parties are heard, while maintaining process formality and credibility. Much of her adjudication experience has involved lay-litigants. Robyn has a good understanding of the difficulties they face representing themselves and navigating complex legislation. 

    Eligible to act as a Chair.

     

    Contact details:

    Robyn Wilson

    PF, 131-5 Abel Smith St, Aro Valley, Wellington 6011

    Mobile: 027 293 5274

    Phone: 04 934 0693

    Email: robynpwilsonnz@gmail.com