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Law to Ombudsman

With a background in law and having spent most of his career as a litigation specialist Chris LaHatte like many lawyers began to see the advantages of mediation as a dispute resolution tool, and says that he came to prefer acting for clients in a mediation and then wanted to become a mediator himself. So Chris began the graduate diploma course in 2003 at Massey and then transferred to the Master’s program, graduating in 2007 with Master of Management (Dispute Resolution).
The Dispute Resolution Centre has provided dispute resolution training for many years. Many graduates use their diplomas and degrees in ways which are not always expected. The Dispute Resolution Centre on the website suggests that those who qualify in mediation may have a career path in mediation with government organisations such as the Tenancy Tribunal and the Family Court. Many of course use the training for business management purposes.
Along the way Chris also completed the AMINZ Fellowship program in mediation and arbitration, building on the Massey course. In 2011 the Massey degree and the fellowship qualifications helped to get a unique posting as the ombudsman at ICANN, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, based in Los Angeles. ICANN operates the domain name system and coordinates the domain naming system. ICANN is a not-for-profit public benefit Corporation operated on a multi-stakeholder model.
This means that anyone who wants to can contribute to policy and decision-making, and have a real impact. The ombudsman was established in 2004 and operates as an executive ombudsman dealing with issues of unfairness and delay between ICANN and the supporting bodies and constituents. Mediation is a significant element of what he does, in bringing together people who have issues and have fallen into disagreement. The mediations are diverse and often multicultural and multi-party.
Chris travels the world for this role, and this year has been to Costa Rica, the Czech Republic and in October will be in Toronto Canada. He also travels to Los Angeles regularly, and to conferences which this year has been in Houston Texas, Hong Kong and Macao and later this year in Vienna.
The big conference for 2012 will be The International Ombudsman Institute held in New Zealand at Wellington, for Chris, who is based in Wellington, a bus ride instead of a jumbo jet. He attributes his success in obtaining the job to the high reputation of the Massey training and the guidance in obtaining Fellowship with the assistance of many Massey graduates who teach the fellowship program.
Chris LaHatte, Master of Management 2007