What People Are Saying

Melanie resolved the unresolvable! She did an exceptional job in resolving a dispute between two senior and experienced people. She gained our confidence, was balanced and independent at all times and when it looked like the process was falling apart, she worked diligently to identify a resolution, acceptable to both parties. Was respectful at all times and showed a mature understanding. It was a win/win for all parties. Thank you Melanie!

Party to Mediation

After meeting one on one with Melanie I felt more at ease going into the mediation. Mediation got a bit heated at times but Melanie was quick to put a stop to it and get us back on track, ended up with a reached written agreement.

Party To MediationHamilton

I feel that Melanie is very professional in her work, and did work under the circumstances extremely well with all of the possibilities available to her at that moment.

Party to mediationHamilton

I found the mediator to be very fair and empathetic towards both parties which helped put the participants minds at ease. Also, the strategy used to get all the anguish and frustration out at the outset allowed the parties to have what they saw as “their day in Court”,  so that they were then able to move past the phase of anger and constructively look at a settlement that was fair and achievable to both parties. It also helped that the mediator had a sharp mind and was able to propose alternative solutions which neither party had contemplated. The mediator more or less guided the parties to a win-win result which would certainly not have been achieved through Court proceedings. I was envious of the patience the mediator displayed throughout  and grateful for her cultural sensitivity.

Mark MilroyFoster and Milroy Lawyers Hamilton

Melanie O’Neill gave a very efficient, clearly explained friendly service. Even together we were treated equally and put at ease. She showed a genuine interest in both parties and the best outcome for our daughter.
Thank you Melanie.

Party to FDR Mediation

Very happy with how Melanie conducted this mediation. Very respectful of counsel and parties and made process very clear.


Mania HopeBarristerHamilton

Melanie adopted a very empathetic style early on having taken the opportunity prior to the mediation to review background material provided by the parties. This was particularly well suited to a dispute over a will perceived to be unfair by a family much traumatised by their deceased father’s conduct during his lifetime, and for some at least, by the terms of his will after he died. Melanie’s timely interventions to caucus with the parties assisted an outcome which I suggest was considered to be “fair” by the standards of the parties’ late mother. This led to them providing specific instruction to the estate solicitors on procedural/administrative matters, as well as resolving matters of substance. I was very satisfied with the decision of the parties to choose Melanie to facilitate the resolution of this Family Protection Act dispute.

Tim RichardsonBarrister Tauranga

I have attended many mediations where Melanie has been the mediator and have observed her exceptional skills in that role. She is able to assist the parties to reach appropriate, child focused solutions. Within that process, Melanie is aware of the legal parameters of the Code of Conduct Act and relevant issues of domestic violence, power imbalancer, cultural issues and child development. I think Melanie is extremely well suited and qualified to be a mediator under Family Dispute Resolution.

Jan WaseyLawyerHamilton

Melanie is a very experienced skilled Lawyer and mediator. I have observed Melanie’s mediation skills. She is professional, respectful and focused on assisting parties to identify the issues, work through them and reach resolution. She has excellent skills at assisting parties to overcome impasses and to keep focused on child centered issues. Melanie manages the process very effectively. She is sensitive to cultural differences.

Susan EwenBarrister/Mediator Hamilton

Melanie has a professional, calm and openly warm approach to the parties at her mediations. Melanie follows a clear structure and makes sure that the parties understand the process each step of the way. I have seen Melanie deal with issues of domestic violence and cultural matters. Melanie explores options for resolution that are child focused and that will help the parties deal with future possible conflict and developmental changes for their children. Melanie created an excellent platform for the parties to resolve issues and make future plans.

Kay HoultLawyerHamilton

Melanie is a successful mediator. She balances her professional approach with a personable manner that engages the parties in the process and, in my experience, makes it possible to achieve the best possible outcome in each case.

David DowthwaiteBarristerRotorua