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 2025.
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.
21 Bendigo Grove Wellington 6037
Mobile: 0274 777 408
David Carden: LLM
David Carden practises exclusively in dispute resolution, having been a barrister for many years. David has been the Chair of the Health Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and 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, he 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.
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 practised law for 47 years, 35 of which have been in his own practice on the North Shore of Auckland. He has now retired from full-time practice, but still does locums, consultancies, and notarising. 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 39 years and has 4 adult sons. His hobbies include tramping, jogging and home improvements.
Eligible as chair.
85A East Coast Road, Castor Bay, Auckland 0620
Mobile: 027 242 7390
Nigel Dunlop: BA, LLB
Nigel was a lawyer for 44 years. In the early phase of his legal career he mainly practised criminal and family law. Additionally he ran his own law firm offering a wide range of general legal services. Subsequently Nigel’s practice evolved to focus on membership of statutory tribunals, and on mediation and investigation. The underlying theme of this work has been the resolution of complaints and appeals.
Nigel has been a disputes panellist under the Retirement Villages Act since it came into force. He also mediates retirement village disputes.
- The Deputy President of the Film and Literature Board of Review, appointed by the Governor-General
- A member of professional conduct committees for the Medical Council, Dental Council and Physiotherapy Board.
- On the panel of mediators dealing with domain name disputes.
In the past, as well as mediating some 750 disputes, Nigel has been:
- President of the Canterbury District Law Society, and Council member of the New Zealand Law Society.
- Convener of the Mental Health Review Tribunal, appointed by the Minister of Health
- The Chair of a Complaints Assessment Committee under the Real Estate Agents Act 2008.
- Chair of the International Education Review Panel appointed by the Secretary for Education.
Nigel is Wellington based, although able to undertake work throughout New Zealand.
Eligible as chair.
Mobile: 021 685 910
Claudia Elliott: LLB, Diploma in Business Studies with endorsement in dispute resolution, Master of Business Studies in Dispute Resolution, Member NZ Law Society
Claudia 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.
PO Box 7038, Wellesley St, Auckland City
Tel: 09 379 6572, Mob: 021 836545
John Green: C.Arb, F.CIArb, F.AMINZ(Arb/Med)
John is an 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 life member of the Society of Construction Law New Zealand Inc. for his contribution to the practice of construction law.
He acted as a Weathertight Homes Adjudicator and mediator for nine years and has been appointed in more than 1,300 building, construction and infrastructure disputes relating to a wide variety of residential, commercial, industrial and infrastructure 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; New Zealand International Arbitration Centre; Building Disputes Tribunal; New Zealand Family Dispute Resolution Centre; Independent Complaint and Review Authority; ADR Centre; and LawTech. He is the Editor of BuildLaw® and ReSolution®.
PO Box 33297, Takapuna 0740
Tel: 09 486 7153, Mobile: 021 921 752, Fax: 09 486 7144
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.
Level 7, 2 Commerce Street, Auckland City
PO Box 26 008, Epsom, Auckland 1344
Mobile: 021 149 0287
Jenny Leith: LLB, Fellow AMINZ (Mediation), Arbitration and Mediation Panellist AMINZ
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.
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 30 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.
RD 2, Upper Moutere, 7175
Phone: 021 231 3947
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
70 Sunrise Valley Rd, Upper Moutere, Nelson
Mobile: 027 637 8726
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.
PF, 131-5 Abel Smith St, Aro Valley, Wellington 6011
Mobile: 027 293 5274
Phone: 04 934 0693