Mediation Services

Alternative Disputes Resolution

If you have a problem or a complaint or a dispute then the Association and its members have some avenues, processes and suggestions which may be of help to you.

They include:

First Steps

If you are looking to enter into a Franchise as a Franchisee look for systems that are members of the Association. Why? Association members are required to undertake to comply with the Association's Code of Ethics and Code of Practice. These commit them to take various steps including requirements that:

  • A process is followed of referring prospective Franchisees to independent legal and accounting advice before they enter the franchise and requiring certificates to be signed that this requirement has been followed.
  • They comply with certain standards as to how they conduct their business and that they supply you with copies of both Codes; and
  • There is a 7 day "cooling-off period" for Franchisees to change their mind after signing; and
  • The Agreements also contain dispute resolution provisions which seek to resolve matters as early as possible and require mediation before matters can be taken to litigation or arbitration;

Do you understand your role?

Very often problems arise because parties do not have a clear or accurate understanding of what their respective responsibilities and obligations actually are. If problems occur, these should be checked out first. Often documents setting out obligations are quite technical, whether they are franchise agreements or operation manuals or something else and they do not sit alone, but in a context where what they mean can be influenced by surrounding circumstances and for that matter, other legal obligations. Also, your objectivity may be clouded by being emotionally too close to the issue.

People to turn to, depending on the seriousness of the problem, may include other franchisees (if you are a franchisee), the Franchise Council (if there is one) for the system qand independent experienced legal and/or other professional advisers. But first of all, unless it really is not practical in the circumstances, start by talking with the other party, franchisor or franchisee, as more often than not there is a very simple explanation of something which the other party has overlooked or not understood properly, or there has been a simple communications failure.

Independent Advisers

The Association has a variety of independent professional advisers, lawyers, consultants, and accountants among its members.  They tend to have a far greater knowledge and understanding of franchising than those who do not. Details of them are listed below.

When in doubt, check it out. For prospective Franchisees it cannot be too strongly emphasised that you should take proper independent legal and other professional advice from advisers who are actually knowledgeable and experienced in franchising before you enter a franchise agreement.

The Franchise Association of New Zealand Inc. maintains a panel of mediators to assist members in dispute resolution by mediation.  To be eligible to be on the Panel each Panel Member has:

  1. Undertaken the Association's training course; and
  2. Has an approved qualification as a Mediator; and
  3. Is a member of the Association; and
  4. Has signed a binding Agreement with the Association committing to observe the required standards including confidentiality requirements. 

Below is a list of the current panel members and brief biographical details as supplied by each of them.

PLEASE NOTE: The Association maintains the Panel and provides this information as a service to the franchising community and DOES NOT accept any responsibility or liability for the outcome of any reference to any mediator or any matter arising in relation to any mediation.  The personal details are as provided by the Panel members. If you wish to commence formal mediation under the FANZ Code of Practice, you should contact the CEO by phone or email.

Franchise Association Approved Mediators

Click on a mediator's name below to find out more:


Robert J. Fowler

Mediation & Management Ltd Mediator, Bedpost NZ Ltd - Franchisor

Contact details:

Ph: +64 9 278 1010    Fax: +64 9 278 0002    Email: Click here

Qualifications in Mediation:

Disputes/conflict resolution Auckland University of Technology, Certificate Mediation LEADR, Masters Class Advanced Mediation Bond University with LEADR, Member LEADR legal education Alternative Disputes Resolution, Accredited LEADR Panel Member, Certificate of Mediation Hong Kong University

Franchising Experience:

Past Chairman Franchise Association of NZ Inc., Past Member Franchise Association Board, FANZ Chairman Complaints & Disciplinary Committee since 1999, Appointed to Mediation Panel of the Franchise Association of New Zealand, Franchisor since 1993 Bedpost New Zealand

I look forward to assisting you resolve your franchising concerns.

Back to top


Stewart Germann

Principal - Stewart Germann Law Office

Contact details:

Ph: +64 9 308-9925    Fax: +64 9 308-9922    Email:  Click here


Bachelor of Commerce University of Auckland, Bachelor of Laws University of Auckland, LEADR Course - Qualified Mediator, Notary Public

Past Achievements:

Past Chairman of the Franchise Association of New Zealand, 1997-1999, Past Board Member of the Franchise Association of New Zealand, 1995 - 2001, Wrote the Rules of the Franchise Association of New Zealand together with the Code of Practice which forms part of those Rules.

Franchising Legal Experience:

Extensive experience in franchising law and licensing since 1980, Acted for many overseas companies expanding their businesses into New Zealand, Acted for New Zealand franchisors in exporting their businesses overseas, Advice on intellectual property matters. Involved in dispute resolution, particularly mediation, and have acted as counsel at a mediation, Has spoken on franchising at universities throughout New Zealand and at conferences in New Zealand, Australia and the USA.

Back to top


Trish van der Haas

Mediator, Auckland, New Zealand

Contact details:

Ph: 0800 02 mediate (0800 02 6334)   Mob: 021 677 950    Website:

Trish practised as a lawyer in Christchurch for a number of years and then trained law graduates for the Institute of Professional Legal Studies (IPLS) at the University of Canterbury. She also held the position of Editor for the IPLS where she wrote, edited and produced mediation, interviewing and negotitation course materials.

Trish has always been passionate about mediation, a passion she demonstrated early on when she helped set up, and become a Director of a Community Mediation Service in Christchurch.

Trish's mediation experience includes acting as a tenancy Mediator for Housing New Zealand. She has her own private mediation practise, which includes contracting to the Ministry of Justice as a Disputes Tribunal Referee and contracting to Dispute Resolution Services Limited as a Mediator in ACC and Health and Disbility disputes.

She is on the panel of mediators of both AMINZ and LEADR (the two professional mediation bodies in NZ) and she is often invited to coach at LEADR courses.
Trish's mediation style is to create the space for people to be heard. Trish helps people to really listen to each other, work out what their issues are and hear what each other needs, so they can create options that will meet their needs and then move forward to reach agreement.

Trish considers her style of mediation works well for franchise disputes where there is often and ongoing commercial relationship.

Back to top

Print this pageMember LoginNewsletter SignupPrint this page