I’m back to living the life I have for twenty years, my business here is on-line, I grow a lot of my own food and I work from home. I have a birchwood on one side of my property and a lake on the other.

This country is traumatised, I like the respect for democracy and individual responsibility – but honestly, I can’t say it’s working very well at this stage. We have lost a lot of old people, I’d say we are a nation in shock. What it will look like in a year’s time, I just don’t know.

I’m in the backblocks in a village of eight houses on the outskirts of a town called SäffleI’ve lived in Sweden for twenty years. I’ve run a Bokashi food waste company for 13 years. It’s all about fixing the soil, that is one of the most important things we can do for the planet right now.

A couple of years ago I traveled with my daughter and she told me I was living a boring life. She was right. I set up a business doing the same thing in Myanmar because I love the people there, most of the time I’m there now. This is what I was always meant to do.

I was born in Sydney to an Australian mum and a Kiwi dad. We moved to Raumati Beach and then to Auckland. I went to Westlake Girls then Auckland Uni to study business.

My daughter was born in Australia and lives in Norway, its only hours away but I haven’t been able to see her for months. My mother is really sick in Australia, a lot of my friends are in NZ, I have a business here and another in Myanmar. I’ve been homesick for NZ all my life I guess, but home is.…where?

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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 now.

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 pete@petecarter.nz – 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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