Bianca Tree

Partner - Environment and Planning

Bianca is head of our Property and Environment division and a resource management and environmental law specialist.  She provides advice to both public and private sector entities on all aspects of the Resource Management Act 1991 (RMA) and related legislation.

Bianca is experienced in a broad range of development projects and environmental issues, including in the retail, commercial, industrial, infrastructure, aquaculture, forestry, agriculture, and energy sectors.

She works closely with companies such as Stride Property, AMP Capital, Southern Cross Healthcare, and Metlifecare on their nationwide property portfolios to obtain appropriate zoning and consents for major projects.  Her clients value her knowledge of their business and her clear, commercial advice on resource consent and planning processes and strategy.

Bianca routinely advises and prepares submissions on district and regional plans.  She has enabled numerous clients to achieve an uplift in zoning or area specific precinct controls to support development.

Experienced in the related fields of the Public Works Act and the Local Government Act, Bianca can help with public acquisition, development contributions and private development agreements.  She provides clients with valuable continuity between Notice of Requirement and acquisition processes on significant infrastructure projects.

Clients also seek Bianca’s assistance with undertaking environmental due diligence.  Her expertise in this area includes advising on the Overseas Investment Act (OIA), contaminated land liability, and drafting environmental warranties and indemnities.

Skilled at litigation and dispute resolution, Bianca regularly appears in complex cases before the Environment Court, High Court and Boards of Inquiry.  She also represents clients at mediation.

With a background in science, Bianca enjoys the technical side of her practice and is skilled at translating scientific concepts into plain English.  Beyond her vast experience and technical skills, clients appreciate Bianca’s in-depth knowledge of their interests and objectives and her collaborative approach to achieving desired outcomes.  She takes pleasure in partnering with her clients to shape New Zealand’s built environment.  Her timely and practical advice enables her clients to focus on their business whilst meeting their environmental obligations.

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Professional background

Recent work

Stride Property

Advising on the Wellington City Spatial Plan which sets out how the city might grow, develop, and adapt to anticipated change and opportunities.

Southern Cross Hospitals Limited

Advising Southern Cross on its request for a private plan change to the Auckland Unitary Plan, and a concurrent resource consent application, to enable the expansion of Brightside Hospital.

Development agreement for dairy processing company

Assisting a dairy processing company to obtain a development agreement to support the establishment of a new, large-scale, nutritional powder manufacturing facility. The facility required significant infrastructure connections, including to Waikato District Council’s freshwater, wastewater, and roading networks.

Metlifecare

Assisting Metlifecare with consenting strategy, planning due diligence, plan reviews, and development contribution policies.

Stratex Group Limited

Advising Stratex Group in relation to the NZ Transport Agency’s East West Link proposal and associated land acquisition under the Public Works Act.

Toll Networks deal

Assisting Allegro Funds with environmental due diligence related to its acquisition of Toll Networks.

Admitted

  • 2001, New Zealand

Qualifications

  • LLB, BSc, University of Otago

Affiliations

  • Member, Resource Management Law Association of New Zealand Inc (RMLA)

Specialisations

  • Acquisition and Compensation Claims under the Public Works Act 1981
  • Energy and Resources
  • Environment and Resource Management
  • Planning and Environmental Approvals