We’ve been in this particular terraced house near Kew Gardens for 20 years. I left NZ in 1977 on an adventure from which I have never returned.

I’m a psychotherapist in private practice and have been an educator in the field for thirty years. Since Covid, what’s most radically changed is the complete lack of spontaneity in our daily living. The minutiae is no longer about going to the theatre and the galleries and all that makes London fabulous.

If I raise my head it feels like everything is going to hell in a handcart. It is a myth that any of us can avoid what is going on in the outside world, but if I just walk in the garden and stroke the cats and hang out with my husband Tony – that’s all very lovely.

I was born near Gisborne and went to the local multicultural primary then an amazing co-ed Quaker boarding school in Wanganui. Like many farming kids I also boarded at secondary school in Hawkes Bay – that was an emotionally mixed experience.

Victoria was a Red university when I did my degree in Political Sociology, following that I trained as a primary school teacher in Auckland. After I’d ended a marvelous and possibly misguided love affair I moved to London. I started work with wayward adolescents. At that time it was very easy to get work and to come and go.

I’m about to present a paper to an international conference about having slave owners as forebears. It’s a thing, especially with what’s happening with Black Lives Matter. It’s important that we don’t hide this part of our family history.

Because I’ve lived away for so long, what I remember about Poverty Bay is probably highly idealized. Yet my soul is still there, I haven’t completely left.


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 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.

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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