Mike Doesburg

LLB (Hons), BSc, Partner

Mike is a resource management and environmental law specialist who is available to advise and advocate for clients with planning, resource consenting or related issues.

Mike has considerable experience advising on complex regional and district planning matters and regularly represents clients in front council panels and the Environment Court.  Mike has a particular interest in land development, freshwater planning and coastal issues.

Mike also has expertise assisting applicants obtaining resource consents and other approvals for projects, as well as acting for submitters and advising decision-makers.  Mike is skilled at briefing and working with teams of technical specialists to achieve client objectives.

Mike also advises on all aspects of local government law, including rating, development contributions and Public Works Act issues. 

Mike has been identified by Doyles Guide as a Rising Star in Australia & New Zealand Planning and Environment law.  In 2018, Mike was one of eleven finalists for the Young Private Practice Lawyer of the Year (35 or under) at the New Zealand Law Awards.

Mike is a member of the Resource Management Law Association and serves as treasurer on the Association’s Auckland Branch Committee.

"I enjoy working as part of a team to unravel complex issues.  I like finding innovative solutions to problems, but I know that sometimes it is the simple and pragmatic solution that works best."

Recent Projects

  • The following are highlights of Mike’s legal work since joining Wynn Williams in 2018:

  • Appeared as lead counsel for Northland Regional Council in the Environment Court on 24 appeals against its combined regional and coastal plan the Proposed Regional Plan for Northland.

  • Appeared as second counsel in the Environment Court for landowner on resource consent for a 840 lot urban development in Hamilton.

  • Lodged appeals and represented submitters at Environment Court mediation in relation to the Te Whau Pathway, a 15km shared pathway in west Auckland.

  • Obtained resource consent for a landowner following a council hearing on a proposed boutique motel development on the edge of Lake Rotorua.

  • Appeared as lead council in the Environment Court defending a district council’s decision to decline a 12 lot subdivision.

Recent Articles


Select Committee’s recommendations on housing intensification amendments to the RMA released

The Resource Management (Enabling Housing Supply and Other Matters) Amendment Bill (Bill) has recently been reported back from the Select Committee, following the hearing of public submissions. While the Select Committee has tinkered with some of the finer details of the Bill, and slightly watered down some of the MDRS, the intent of the Bill remains the same – allowing for increased density in urban areas, and quickly.

Keep reading...


Changes afoot for wetland regulations

The ‘natural wetlands’ provisions in The National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management 2020 and the Resource Management (National Environmental Standards for Freshwater) Regulations have caused considerable issues throughout the country as councils, applicants and other stakeholders have struggled with their implementation. As a result of this feedback, the government has released a discussion document which sets out proposed changes to the NPS-FM and NES-F and is seeking feedback from the public. 

Keep reading...


First look at the proposed replacement for the RMA

Reform or replacement of the Resource Management Act 1991 has been on the legislative agenda for some time. The Government announced in February 2021 that it intends to repeal the Resource Management Act 1991 and replace it with three new Acts. an exposure draft has now been released.

Keep reading...


RMA refreshed? Changes to the Resource Management Act enacted

The Resource Management Amendment Act 2020 came into force this week. The amendments will have significant implications for local authorities, particularly in the freshwater and climate change space.

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Review with caution: trade competitors and judicial review under the Resource Management Act 1991

A recent High Court decision demonstrates the difficulties faced by trade competitors, with ulterior commercial motives, challenging decisions made under the Resource Management Act 1991 (Act).

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Change continues in resource management law: what’s coming in 2019?

2018 produced and foreshadowed a number of important changes in the resource management and environmental space. 2019 looks set to provide a raft of further changes. Most people are back at work now and gearing up for the year ahead – what better time to reflect on what 2018 brought and look ahead at some of the things we know are coming in 2019.

Keep reading...

Reported Decisions

  • Bay of Islands Maritime Park Inc v Northland Regional Council [2021] NZEnvC 6

  • Minister of Conservation v Northland Regional Council [2021] NZEnvC 1

  • CEP Services Matauwhi Ltd v Northland Regional Council [2020] NZEnvC 202

  • Weston Lea Ltd v Hamilton City Council [2020] NZEnvC 189

  • Wilkins Farming Co Ltd v Southland Regional Council [2020] NZEnvC 175


  • Nolan (ed) Environmental and Resource Management Law (7th ed, Lexis Nexis, Wellington, 2018) Chapter 9: Marine Pollution (co-author).

  • Nolan (ed) Environmental and Resource Management Law (6th ed, Lexis Nexis, Wellington, 2018) Chapter 9: Marine Pollution (co-author).

  • Nolan (ed) Environmental and Resource Management Law (6th ed, Lexis Nexis, Wellington, 2018) Chapter 5: Coastal (assistance acknowledged).
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