Yvonne Lipsham’s Story

Hi my name is Yvonne Lipsham; I was Yvonne Gash before marrying Peter Lipsham in 1974 at the Oratia church at the bottom of our road. The church our Dad & Uncles designed & built with others in the community.

I was born in the nursing home at Glengarry Rd, Oratia (yes there was such a thing) in 1953.

And taken home to my parents, Roy & Iris Gash’s Orchard at 148 Parker Rd, the property which was originally owned by my Father’s Grandmother, Rhoda Gash and where I am still living today. (If you haven’t done the math yet, 64 years)

I had always enjoyed working on the orchard, the planting, nurturing, harvesting and packing. It was a happy time working alongside my father Roy & his brother Rusty.

Then in 1980 when Dad was ready to retire Peter & I bought the Orchard, living in a shed with our 2 Children Wade & Dale for 4 years before moving into the family home which was built in 1941. My parents with my younger sister Janine looked around in the suburbs for somewhere to live out their retirement but ended up returning to the Orchard and building their retirement home on the property, saying “we don’t want to live anywhere else.” In order to cut a section off for them, Dad had to be over 60 years old and have worked on the land for at least 20 years and we had to be left with a 10 hectare block after the subdivision. This was pre Oratia Structure Plan.

Pete and I have grown & marketed tamarillo, peaches, plums, apples, kiwifruit, macadamia’s, grapefruit, nectarines, grapes, watercress, native plants, tamarillo plants & Feijoas over the nearly 40 years that we have had the orchard. Peter has successfully turned himself from an Architect into an Orchardist.

So, my husband Peter and I are on the boundary of Watercare’s Southern Site and on the boundary of the Northern site, aren’t we lucky we would not be uprooted, we would just have this monstrosity on our doorstep, the two sites are like a horseshoe around us and our family would be split apart.

So this is the story of a family who won’t be affected.

Next door live our daughter Dale & son in law Bruce with our Grandchildren Brooke & Jaden who we look after every day once they get off the school bus,

they are 6th generation at this property and 5th at the school. Also next door lives my sister Lyn who came back to live at 144, to be close to family after her husband Bob died at the too early age of 54. Lyn’s son Alan & family live further down on Parker Rd.

Next door and in the red zone is Paul & Kath Goldsmith we both grow Feijoas for export, we share machinery, just as Roy & Rusty did, we share Paul’s upmarket packing shed, Paul shares our cool storage facility. Another family with 3 generations living on the same property. This is fairly common on Parker Rd.

Next door again (in the Red Zone) is my cousin Graeme Gash, we were born 3 weeks apart and have grown up together on this land and so are more like brother & sister than cousins.


But Graeme would no longer be here or his daughter Tulsi & Danny and their 4

lovely children. (Graeme’s Grandchildren.) Not to mention the two children, now well-adjusted young adults that Graeme cares for or his 150+ year old house that he has lovingly restored. Or his music studio that he has put so much time and effort into.

I should stop here, but I can’t because next door again (also in the Red Zone) is my Bother in law and Sister in law, Ross & Lee Viskovich. You see we are not only family but close friends, we go on our annual camping holidays together. You will notice there are no fences between us, we don’t need them, we walk to each other’s places cross country, or the children on bikes, there’ s no need for them to go on the road.

To separate us all is just unthinkable, there is nowhere else we could go to that could ever compare.

I should stop there, but I can’t because the Parker Rd Southern Site is the subdivision which we created 15 years ago in conjunction with our two neighbours, Rusty Gash and Bill Keith.

At the time it was described as the “Jewel in the Crown” of Oratia.

We have come to know each of the families who have bought here and most have become very good friends. When they purchased their perfect piece of land to build their dream home on they did their due diligence, there was nothing on any records anywhere that said a treatment plant was going up next door to them, or as it happens right on top of them. Julian has just completed his rammed earth home after 13 years of hard toil and he has created a masterpiece, John & Kathleen are in the middle of building their dream home. How could it even be possible that this could all be taken from them all?

This is the subdivision that has 17 areas of covenanted bush on it.

As disastrous as this all is perhaps the worst thing would be that the next generations would lose their heritage, their opportunity to grow up as we did in this idyllic place with extended family to guide us and watch out for us.

There is no way that our Parker Rd sites can be chosen, there is no way that the social impact should be recorded as low.

We all know the social impact would be enormous.

Watercare you have other options, you need to delete Parker Rd from your short list, even if you discarded the huge social impact there would be no way you should get resource consent to build such a structure on this land, when you consider the hoops we all had to jump through to get consents because of being in a heritage area, and on a sensitive ridge line. That was just for a home, let alone a huge industrial plant. You could never plant enough trees to mitigate the impervious surfaces.

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