New Zealand: Cloud Warriors

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Welcome to Aotearoa! In the language of New Zealand’s original inhabitants, the Māori, this name means “the land of the long white cloud”— a reference to a special cloud formation that is said to have guided Polynesian seafarers here a long time ago. This island group in the Pacific Ocean features a breathtaking natural environment that has a spiritual meaning for the Maōri and also shapes the country’s economy.



Milford Sound unfurls its spectacular beauty especially after a rain. That’s when hundreds of small waterfalls surge down from the mountains, really bringing this fjord panorama to life. Milford Sound is part of Fiordland National Park, which covers more than 12,600 square kilometers in the southwest corner of South Island. It’s also part of the Te Wahipounamu World Heritage Area. New Zealand offers many spectacular landscapes like this one, with broad beaches, volcanoes, and impressive forests that are not only beautiful to look at but also provide resources for the country’s significant lumber industry.

They stamp their feet, stick out their tongues, pound their bodies rhythmically, and sing loud—that’s how the members of the All Blacks, New Zealand’s rugby team, welcome their competitors on the playing field. Before every match, the team dances the “Ka Mate” haka, which was composed in 1820, in order to demonstrate their unity and strength and challenge their rivals. “Haka” is the Māori word for the dances through which they express their passion, strength, and identity. Evonik is also a presence on the rugby field. The players’ shoes contain Vestamid E®, a polyamide-12 elastomer from Evonik. It provides elasticity, so that the shoe soles effectively absorb impacts and protect the players’ ankles.

Te Puke, the self-proclaimed “Kiwi Capital of the World,” lies along the Bay of Plenty on the eastern coast of North Island. Its warm, humid climate and fruitful soil provide ideal conditions for fruit growing, the region’s most important industry. The kiwi fruit with its furry coat originated in China, and that’s why it’s also known as the Chinese gooseberry. The vegetation phase of the kiwi can take as long as 240 days. To shield the plants from pests and damage during this long period of time, fruit growers depend on plant protection products. Evonik provides them with BREAK-THRU® additives, which make the product effective even in small quantities.

The area around Morrinsville, not far from Auckland, is one of the most important regions of New Zealand’s dairy industry. The art project “Herd of Cows” brings together the town’s commercial sector with its growing creative scene. Each of the 60 life-sized cow sculptures is sponsored by a local business and represents part of the history of Morrinsville. Cow Number 10, named Betty (see photo), was created by the Maōri sculptor Zena Elliott. Evonik also has a special relationship with this small town: Morrinsville is the location of the company’s only facility in New Zealand. There’s also an Evonik cow: Number 9, Kiwiana.

New Zealand is renowned for its enormous sheep population. The island nation is home to about 26 million sheep—but only five million people. That amounts to five sheep per inhabitant. The Waikato region, located south of Auckland, is one of the many areas where sheep like to roam. In addition to its subterranean caves and black-sand beaches, it’s mainly famous because of its lush, extensive pasture land, which is known from the films “The Lord of the Rings” and the Hobbit trilogy. Sheep’s wool is one of the country’s most important export goods. Before it can be processed further in the textile industry, the wool is usually bleached with hydrogen peroxide, one of the items in Evonik’s product portfolio.


Since 1998, Evonik Peroxide has operated New Zealand’s only hydrogen peroxide plant, which is located three kilometers from the town center of Morrinsville in the Waikato region of North Island. Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is an environmentally friendly oxidation and bleaching agent that is primarily used in the manufacture of cellulose and paper, the textile industry, ore extraction, and food production. The plant also produces peracetic acid, a high-quality derived product that is used as an industrial disinfection agent.

Evonik locations:
1 Morrinsville



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Photos: Getty Images (2), Imago Images/Action Plus, Kurt Henseler/laif, Evonik Industries AG
Illustrations: KNSK GROUP


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