Coming from the sweeping views at Skyline Rotorua to the untouched geothermal vista of Waimangu Volcanic Valley, Rotorua's David Blackmore has been welcomed as the company's new general manager.

The appointment follows the sale of Waimangu earlier this year to a partnership between Te Mana o Ngati Rangitihi, Tuhourangi Tribal Authority and Te Puia/New Zealand Maori Arts and Crafts Institute.

Blackmore, who was Skyline Rotorua's sales and marketing manager for more than eight years, is looking forward to the new opportunity.

"As a unique geothermal and eco-tourism attraction, Waimangu's history and legacy lends itself to plenty of rich experiences and stories. I'm looking forward making my own contribution to its next phase of development and taking it forward to a new level."

Waimangu is one of the youngest geothermal systems and was created following the Tarawera eruption in 1886 – the same eruption that killed more than 150 people and destroyed what was known as the eighth wonder of the world, the Pink and White Terraces.

Blackmore said the link to the Pink and White Terraces was a contributing factor in taking on the job.

"There are very few places on the planet where you can work in and around what was the eighth wonder of the world."

Waimangu Volcanic Valley chairman Alan Skipwith said the partnership had a clearer understanding of the operation and where it could go in the future.

"The existing team has been fantastic and has helped us easily transition into the business. We're pleased to welcome David on board as general manager to lead the team into the busy summer season.

"His experience and credibility in the tourism industry and the extensive relationships which he has nurtured during this time, will play a pivotal role. There is potential to not only grow the business in a sustainable way, but to grow everyone here as well."

Skipwith said the partnership was working on identifying iwi stories to weave into the existing Waimangu operation, and were talking with nearby tourism operators to ensure the stories were consistent.

"We don't want to overload people with too much information, but we do want to enhance the existing experience and our rich Maori history will play an important role in delivering that."


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