We lived in Singapore for seven years and before that Mumbai for seven, that’s where my husband is from. We came here with his job two years ago, he’s in international shipping.

I’m currently doing an International MFA in fiction writing and we have two kids who are eleven and seven. We’ve been happy and healthy but the tough side is the children go to a local school and my German isn’t great.

I felt like a pin ball for a while. My husband was on video conference calls all day, though we had an agreement that he’d break in the middle of the day and look after lunch and the children whilst I wrote.

Both children have NZ passports, the older one was born in Mumbai and the little one in Singapore. We are planning to stay in Hamburg so the children will have some roots.

I grew up in Raumati South. When I was 11 we moved into Wellington. I did a BA in Classics at Vic and as soon as I graduated I went to South Korea to teach English. Mum is in Nelson and Dad is in Hamilton.

We were home last Christmas, though even by March that felt like years ago. We won’t be coming home any time soon, and that’s tough for me, and for my parents.

I’m studying through an American University. Before Corona we met up every six months somewhere in the world. This week I’m on my own in an Air BnB because we’re doing an online residency and I have to get up in the night to attend lectures in different time zones.

My current writing is set on a sheep farm north of Gisborne, that’s been interesting, working on a hyper local New Zealand novel, whilst living in Germany.




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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