Lesley was raised in Glenavy and is of Waitaha, Ngati Rarua and Ngai Tahu descent.
Lesley's father, Koata Te Maiharoa, (Pop) was raised in Glenavy while Lesley’s mother, Margaret (nee Tumaru), grew up two paddocks away from the Waihao Marae.
Lesley has been involved at the marae on the Executive Committee, as Deputy Chairperson, a Kaihiku kaiarahi and Marae Manager.
She is active in her Waitaha iwi and is the secretary of the Waitaha Taiwhenua o Waitaki Trust.
She is a past director and secretary on the Te Runanga o Waihao Holding Company.
Lesley has a Diploma in Iwi Development and currently lives in Otautahi with husband John, daughter Samantha and mokopuna Brooklyn, and her other treasured daughter, Susan, lives in Perth.
Lesley works as a fees admin at Ryman Healthcare.