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Pompallier Mission welcomes new manager

September 16, 2014


Pompallier Mission welcomes new manager

The promise of new challenges and a rare opportunity to manage one of New Zealand’s most important historic places have drawn Scott Elliffe from the deep heartland of the South Island to the sunny Bay of Islands.

Scott was recently appointed the new Manager of Pompallier Mission – the historic property in Russell cared for by Heritage New Zealand – and is loving the change.

“Pompallier Mission is an iconic New Zealand heritage site, and also one of the country’s ‘birthplaces’,” he says.

“It’s not often that an opportunity to manage such a site comes up. I feel very privileged to be its next guardian.”

No stranger to managing important historic places, over the past decade Scott has been responsible for running Totara Estate and Clark’s Mill in North Otago, and more recently Hayes Engineering in Central Otago – three nationally significant places cared for by Heritage New Zealand.

Scott also put his passion for heritage into action by working to help revitalise Oamaru’s historic precinct, developing both a live history show and a dramatic walking tour of the old town – and sees rich potential in Russell.

“I’m keen to explore the opportunity to develop new markets and new packages with local tourism operators, and to further develop the visitor experience on-site,” he says.

“I’m also keen to work with the local community in developing a new event for Pompallier Mission, and explore new ways of bringing our stories alive for visitors.”

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Scott has been blown away by the passion and expertise of the staff at Pompallier Mission.

“I recently visited a number of heritage sites in the United Kingdom, and I can honestly say that I believe Pompallier’s tours are the equal of anything I went on. They really are world class,” he says.

As if to confirm that, within a day of starting his new role Scott received an email from a visitor praising the enthusiasm of the guide who led their tour, along with her knowledge and quality of engagement with visitors.

“The visitors also praised the beautifully authentic reproduction tools associated with the tanning, printing and bookbinding that was once undertaken here by the Marist Brothers under the leadership of Bishop Pompallier,” says Scott.

“That’s the essence of what happens here – a fun but authentic hands-on experience that really leaves an impression on people.”

Scott is keen to build on the already considerable success Pompallier Mission has achieved, reflected in its recent TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence and the 5 Star status awarded by the New Zealand Gardens Trust for the mission’s garden.

“I’m excited about the future – and really enjoying my new life here. I’m also looking forward to my family moving up here with me in the next few months,” says Scott.

“The history and village ‘feel’ of Russell, the idyllic setting to live and work in, and the wonderfully warm welcome people have given me has been really special.”

Pompallier Mission Opening Hours – Daily 10am-5pm (November- April); otherwise Daily 10am-4pm (May-October).

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