Mike Doesburg

LLB (Hons), BSc, Senior Associate

Mike is a resource management, environmental and local government specialist.  He has particular experience in complex regional and district planning matters and regularly represents clients before council hearings, and in Environment Court mediation and proceedings.  Mike was heavily involved in the development of the Auckland Unitary Plan, having acted for multiple clients with a wide range of interests.

Mike has expertise in obtaining resource consents and other approvals for significant projects, including coastal, commercial, industrial and infrastructure developments.  Mike is skilled at briefing and working with large teams of technical specialists to achieve successful outcomes.

Mike also advises on all aspects of local government law, including rating, development contributions, roading and Public Works Act issues.  Mike is also an expert in alcohol policy and liquor licensing, having represented retail clients before district licensing committees, the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority and the High Court.

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 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 examples of Mike’s legal work whilst at Wynn Williams and other firms:

  • Provided advice to The Crown on the directly referred application for resource consents to host the America’s Cup in Auckland in 2021.

  • Acted for Fonterra on a range of district and regional plan changes and reviews throughout New Zealand, including the Clutha District Plan, Dunedin Second Generation Plan, Hamilton District Plan, Hurunui District Plan, South Taranaki District Plan and Whangarei District Plan Rural Plan Changes.

  • Successfully defended appeals against the resource consents granted for SkyPath, a walking and cycling connection to be attached to Auckland’s Harbour Bridge.

  • Acted for a range of parties who made submissions and appeals on the Auckland Unitary Plan, including Ports of Auckland Limited and the Unitec Institute of Technology.

  • Provided advice on resource consents and planning strategy to a significant residential developer regarding the development of over 800 hectares of land in north Auckland.

  • Advised private clients on general resource consenting and planning issues, including obtaining resource consents under the Auckland Unitary Plan.

  • Advised Watercare Services Limited in respect of applications for resource consents for three significant upgrades to wastewater treatment plants in north Auckland.

  • Advised Woolworths and Lion on alcohol-related matters, including new off-licence and renewal applications, enforcement proceedings, law reform and general advisory work.

  • Advised private clients on a range of local government matters, including local government decision-making, development contributions, rating, bylaws and reserves.

Recent Articles


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.

Keep reading...


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).

Keep reading...


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

  • Panuku Development Auckland Ltd v Auckland Council [2018] NZEnvC 179

  • Medical Officer of Health (Wellington Region) v Lion Liquor Retail Ltd [2018] NZHC 1123

  • Tanner v General Distributors Limited [2018] NZARLA 86

  • Lion Liquor Retail Ltd v Palmer [2017] NZARLA PH 170

  • Northcote Point Heritage Preservation Society Inc v Auckland Council [2016] NZEnvC 248


  • 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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