Last year I traveled to 15 different countries, this year I’ve managed just Iceland.  I have used the opportunity to see Hungary. They have mountains we’d call hills and Lake Balaton. There I float and close my eyes and pretend that I’m at Tata Beach in Golden Bay.

I’m in Budapest and I’ve been here for two years with the Red Cross. I’m the communications manager for Europe and Central Asia. Whenever there’s an emergency, I’m there. Last year there was a big earthquake in Albania and the continuing migration crisis in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

My apartment looks out over the Danube. I’ve adopted a cat and she’s been crucial to my mental and emotional well-being. I feel very lucky to be living in a beautiful city in a lovely apartment and doing a job that I really enjoy.

I was born in Canada, as a family we moved to Australia and the UK before moving to Nelson when I was fourteen. I went to Canterbury University and then to Journalism school in Wellington. My first job was for the Nelson Mail. I was with the Dominion, Radio New Zealand and for 11 years a reporter for TVNZ.

In 2011 I covered the Christchurch earthquake, that made me evaluate what I wanted to do with my life. A job came up with The Red Cross and I stayed for three years before joining the International side. Before coming here I worked in West Africa, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Fiji.

I’m booked to come home at Christmas – I’ve negotiated to work for my two weeks in quarantine.

I really miss my family, I’m always a homesick person anyway but Covid has made it worse. Hopefully I’ll be hugging my mum in a couple of months time.



Images 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.

Amazon UK here.

Amazon US here

Through the publisher here

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.


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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *