Coming here has been a dream for the last fifteen years. I managed to convince Aimee that it was a good idea. In summer there were 24 hours of sunlight, followed by winter’s 24 hours of darkness.

We’re at Scott Base and have been here for ten months. I’m the carpenter maintaining the base. There are eleven of us wintering over. Throughout the summer there are about 300 people that come and go. The main body left in February, then the last twelve flew out at the end of March.

On the one hand we got the golden ticket avoiding Covid-19, we don’t have the job security issues we might have at home. We feel a bit of guilt too. In fifty-year’s time people will talk about Covid-19 and I’ll just say, “well I wasn’t there”.

I was born and raised in Adelaide, both my parents are Kiwis, they moved for the warmth. I came back when I was 20, it was supposed to be just six months and its been seven years, New Zealand is home now. We’re engaged, I don’t think Aimee will let me go back to Australia.


When Joey first mentioned Antarctica I didn’t even know that you could come here.

I’m field support, I maintain all the field gear and during the winter I run the search and rescue team. In the summer I work with the helicopter supporting the scientists.

The US base is about three km away, there are 130 people there in winter. We socialise and hold many events together such as the Antarctic marathon. There is also plenty to do here, we have a bouldering wall, homemade badminton set up and plenty of walks right at our doorstep. There are people who know how to do everything down here.

I was born and raised just outside Auckland. I moved to Arrowtown when I was 16. I trained as a teacher at Otago and then did postgrad in physical education. After that I followed my true love, skiing. I have been ski-patrolling and a hiking guide ever since.

The Aurora is beautiful at this time of year and the sea ice is now thick enough to walk on, sometimes if you’re lucky you can hear the seals swimming underneath the ice. A little bit of horizon is back now, the tiniest bit of light, although we won’t see the sun until August the 19th.

Joey3rd last sunriselow JoeyAimeelow JoeyEmpororlow


Image supplied by interviewee

This interview and the others in the series are an extension of my new book “This Is Us” it is in all good bookshops in New Zealand and also available in Australia. It will be available elsewhere in the world from August.

This Is Us – the diaspora in lockdown – these interviews are slightly different from the ones in the book as they focus on New Zealanders living abroad in this time of isolation.  Copyright Licensing have awarded me a grant to complete this project and convert these postings into a book.

If you can think of suitable interview subjects please let me know via – I currently need interviews in the more unusual places around the world.

Exisle have released This Is Us as an e-book you can buy it here.

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Pete Carter is the author of This is Us. Due out in June 2020 it will be published by Exisle and tells the story of more than 200 New Zealanders in words and pictures. The book is really a portrait of the nation and how it is made up. Pete wrote Our Dog Benji a children’s book illustrated by his nephew, published by EK in 2017. He is also the author of two books of poetry. He has had magazine articles published and poetry in anthologies. As a photographer he has had two solo exhibitions and work included in group exhibitions in NZ and overseas and has sold work to and been commissioned by corporate clients.

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