Jean-Michel Jefferson is the founder of Ahipara Luxury Travel. Educated at various schools in North Africa and the Middle East, then Rugby School, and the universities of Exeter and Sheffield, Jean-Michel spent 9 years with Price Waterhouse as a Management Consultant and Aviation Strategist. His last position was Director of Corporate Finance and Head of the Aviation Group in Moscow. He speaks English, French, and Russian.
Upon the birth of their first daughter in 1998, Jean-Michel and Karen decided to move from Europe to Karen's native city of Auckland and start a lifestyle business unbounded by investors, business plans, strategies, or boards of directors! This became Ahipara - a business free of much of the cynicism and constraints one sees around the world. They now have four children and a successful luxury tourism business.
Frequently quoted in the national press and with the accolades of 'Conde Nast Top Travel Specialist' and a place on Travel + Leisure's A-List, Jean-Michel's passion is to create extraordinary experiences - these can be a combination of low-key quality elements in a lovely balanced day, or a phenomenal awe-inspiring event such as a Maori ambush or a day by helicopter in the Southern Alps. His extensive contact database and respect in the country mean that quite a number of closed doors are opened for our clients. Jean-Michel's focus these days is on creating new experiences and mentoring our partners and staff as well as marketing.