Who We Are​

The People Behind Lauderdale

Karen and Jean-Michel Jefferson

We bought Lauderdale back in 2010 and initially ran weddings and other events successfully for a few years. We stopped them as our high-end tourism business (www.ahipara.com) grew rapidly and our children complained about a lack of privacy at home. Now, with the children grown up and tourism at an all-time low we have decided to open Lauderdale for events again! Over the last ten years we’ve made quite a number of improvements to the property and have a number more in the pipeline.

In order to protect our privacy this time around and the fact that we’re running a couple of other businesses at the same time, we’re only accepting viewings by appointment.

Lauderdale is the remnant of the freeholding which went with Lauder Station until 1869 (after which the operations of the station moved north towards St Bathans). Buildings date from the late 1850s, the redwoods are 150+ years old and we have some rather old fruit trees here too. Our approach to this property since we have been its custodians has been to preserve, enhance and respect. We are continuing this approach with our re-launch of events here. 

We have a sustainable, low waste policy (draught beer, soft drinks on tap), solar power, tree planting, land improvement and re-investment. Our partners are the same sort of people, people who care deeply about the land.

Meet The Team

Family run, with the ability to make sensible decisions quickly.

Jean-Michel Jefferson

Born in the UK. French Mum, English Dad. Both from remote regions. Grew up as the son of a diplomat in North Africa and the Middle East, boarding school and a couple of universities in the UK. Ten years with Price Waterhouse finishing as a Director of Strategy in Moscow. The creative force behind Ahipara Travel, where a number of events included abseiling the All Blacks down Sky Tower and theming a communist steam train from Glenbrook. Now looking at making Lauderdale into a mould-breaking venue.

Karen Jefferson

Born in Te Awamutu, ten years OE in Europe, most famously setting up and running Dorling Kindersley (publishers) in Moscow. Proud Mum of four wonderful children, the administrative brains behind Ahipara Travel, part-time farmer and all-round active person.