I teach ten-year-old’s at an International school, this is the last week before the summer break. We’ve been teaching online for 14 weeks.

We had over a month of full lock down, we had to have a permit to go shopping. Everything is now normal, though we do have to wear a mask when we go out. There are still new cases here – nearly 400 a day.

The whole purpose of coming over was so we could travel, but now we’ll stay in Dubai for the summer. The temperatures are up to the mid-forties and only go down to thirty overnight.

At the start of this we fostered a dog, a lot of people left and the shelters were overflowing, we’ve now adopted him. He’s called Monkey, he had three names but didn’t respond to any of them.

I was born in Upper Hutt, went to Massey which is where we met. I did a Post Grad certificate in teaching in Auckland and then had five years at the one school. Mum, Dad and Nana are still in the Hutt, my sister is in Melbourne.

We’re off to a beach club with friends today, we’ll be lying in the sun drinking beer. It’s a pretty easy life.


I’m still working for the same accounting firm that I worked for in Auckland, so I’m doing exactly what I would have been doing, except I’ve got someone at home to talk to.

The apartment is pretty big so we can spread out. It’s mainly teachers in the complex. There is a basic swimming pool and a small gym which are now both open again. There is still a curfew between 11pm and 6a.m.

Once we’ve walked the dog in the morning he sleeps all day. He definitely gave us a bit of purpose during lockdown.

We were going up to Europe for some travel this summer, now we’ll probably have some staycations in Dubai, there’s some amazing deals. Hopefully we’ll be able to get away again by Christmas.

I was born and raised in the Wairarapa, then went to university over at Massey. I moved straight to Auckland on a graduate scheme, then worked for Xero before joining the firm I’m still working for, it’s a boutique accounting firm.

Dad passed away when I was twelve, so it’s just Mum at home and my older brother and partner in Masterton.


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 – 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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