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It’s better living in New Zealand

Bill Richmond

What connection has plastic, paper, foil and cleaning cloths with Primary and Intermediate education?

Absolutely no direct connection, but, indirectly, our products provided the medium for an absolute cascade of creativity from 740 classes and over 17,500 children entered in the Clorox Creative Challenge, and allowed us to channel over $40,000 into this education sector.

Most people don’t associate with Clorox New Zealand Limited, but they do with our heritage brands GLAD, Chux, Mono and XLO. Even more, most are familiar with our "Better Living" series of commercials featuring our products on television. Add, one of the underlying corporate values of our business ("Do the Right Thing"), the ‘knowledge wave’ concept, an innovative marketing team, and our absolute pride in employing New Zealanders in New Zealand, and the Clorox Creative Challenge was born - a chance for us to demonstrate our social responsibility, reinforce our belief that, despite so much publicity to the contrary, living in New Zealand has so much to offer, and an invitation for children to apply their creativity to the theme "It’s Better Living in New Zealand".

So, why would I take the opportunity to stand on this "Soapbox"?

I want to acknowledge the art professionals within our Primary and Intermediate Schools and congratulate you on your ability to nurture the creative talent that, so obviously, exists within young New Zealanders, and your ability to unleash their artistic talents on interpretation of our theme. In contrast to the negativity that I am so often exposed to on the airwaves and in print surrounding education in New Zealand, the Clorox Creative Challenge reinforced that our children are, clearly, embraced in an educative environment that promotes not just artistic application, but also intuitive skills. We thought the challenge would be big, but we never thought it would be as colossal - both in terms of quantity and, absolute, quality of entry.

We were honoured to have contemporary artist, Dick Frizzell, and Peter Biggs, the Chair of Creative New Zealand, join us as judges for the event. They, too, were in awe of the young talent that exists in communities throughout the nation. I congratulate, again, the challenge winners. I also congratulate the teaching professionals who were so able in motivating such artistic creativity and passion for our country.

My staff and I are proud of the selected exhibits that adorn our offices and invite you to share the expressions of national pride if you are ever passing our premises. We’re also committed to establishing the Clorox Creative Challenge as a regular event in order to reinforce our contention that it really is "Better living in New Zealand"!