+64 7 839 4771

Theresa Le Bas

Theresa Le Bas


To make an appointment, please contact Susan Taylor susan.taylor@tompkinswake.co.nz

Qualifications : BA, LLB, LLM (Hons), University of Auckland.

The Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer 2021 Website Profile Badge18 The Legal 500 Recommended Lawyer 2020 Website Profile Badge11

Theresa is an expert in resource management and local government law with more than 20 years’ experience in New Zealand and Australia. Theresa joined Tompkins Wake in 2011 and is a senior partner in the firm's Environmental and Resource Management and Local Government and Public Law practices. 

With a background in top tier, national law firms in both New Zealand and Australia, Theresa has extensive experience in large scale infrastructure, mining, energy and industrial projects, performing legal due diligence for national and international acquisitions as well as managing contaminated site issues across New Zealand, Victoria and Western Australia. Theresa has guided several local authorities through significant plan changes, variations and plan reviews.

Noted in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific as a Recommended Lawyer, Theresa has ‘excellent knowledge in the RMA and local government area, and good mediation skills; she is a good communicator who builds rapport with people easily and works extremely hard for her clients’. 

Theresa is also a member of the Tompkins Wake Board of Partners.

Areas of expertise

  • Bylaws and Policies
  • Contamination Issues
  • Designations
  • Environmental Due Diligence
  • Environmental Impact Management
  • Heritage Processes
  • Infrastructure and Projects
  • Mining and Resources
  • Official Information (LGOIMA)
  • Plan Changes, Variations and Plan Reviews
  • Resource Consents
  • Resource Management Act (RMA)
  • Rural Planning and Development
  • Urban Planning and Development
  • Local Government Advisory
  • Council Hearings
  • Appeal Hearings
  • Building Act Processes
  • RMA Compliance and Enforcement
  • Wastewater Treatment and Discharge
  • Water

Client Testimonials:

“Responsive and professional, Theresa Le Bas provides exceptional service, responsiveness and excellent RMA advice.” The Legal 500, 2020

Other Credentials

  • Board Member Tompkins Wake Board of Partners
  • Trustee of the Rotorua Public Arts Trust
  • Member of the Association for Resource Management Practitioners
  • Recommended Lawyer, Projects and Resource Management (including Environment), The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021


Theresa was lead counsel in obtaining all required planning and environmental approvals, and successfully concluding appeal proceedings, for the following cases:

  • Tauranga’s Routes P, J, K, Takatimu Drive Extension and second harbour crossing.
  • Rosedale Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion and ocean outfall.
  • Waihi Mining and Newmont Waihi’s expansion of mining activities in Waihi.
  • Orica Australia’s sale of its former explosives reserve to the former Auckland Regional Council to establish the Waitawa Regional Park.
  • WALS’ landfill establishment in Serpentine, Western Australia.
  • Hanson’s Red Hill Quarry expansion in Perth, Western Australia.
  • Successful conclusion of the appeal processes on the Rotorua Lakes and Waipa District Plans.

What timely legal advice could have avoided

The benefit of timely (and early) legal advice on council notification decisions in contentious resource consent applications has been highlighted in ...

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Environment Court's Annual Review 2017

The Environment Court has just released its fourth Annual Review, covering the Court’s activities in the 2017 calendar year. This article provides a s...

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Bella Vista learnings

The Hon Paul Heath QC’s review of Tauranga City Council’s (TCC) assessments, decisions and monitoring of the land use, subdivision and building consen...

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Briefing to the Incoming Minister for the Environment

The Honourable David ParkerMfE prepared two BIMs, one on the environment portfolio generally and one specifically relevant to water issues: https://ww...

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Briefing to the Incoming Minister for Local Government

The Honourable Nanaia MahutaThe Department of Internal Affairs prepared a single BIM for the new Minister for Local Government: http://www.beehive.gov...

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Local Authorities' decision-making requirements - Court of Appeal decision

In the recent decision of Wellington City Council v Minotaur Custodians Limited [2017] NZCA 302 (Brown, Simon France and Williams JJ), the Court of Ap...

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Requiring authority status for irrigation scheme operators

Ministerial approval of private entities as requiring authorities under section 167 of the RMA is, after the initial rush following commencement of th...

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The Ombudsman's new approach to 'delay' complaints

The Office of the Ombudsman has just announced that, from 1 July 2017, it will be taking a new approach to how it responds to complaints about delays ...

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High Court determines property arrangement is not a "subdivision"

Environment Court decisionClearspan Property Assets Ltd v Spark New Zealand Trading Ltd [2017] NZHC 277 is a recent decision of the High Court which d...

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