This is my second year here as an elementary curriculum coordinator for an international school. During lockdown my job ruled me for a long time, there was no real research about on-line learning. Teachers want the best for their kids and my task was to help them get there. I was Zooming for hours and hours.

I live in a town house in a cul-de-sac of eight, I love it, it’s been my sanctuary. I have a little garden that surrounds the house and a pool. I love gardening, I’m trying to get all these little plants to climb up my walls, because of the humidity and rainfall, everything grows.

I fostered a cat called Smudge for a friend and when I had to put her on the plane to Dubai I adopted a rescue cat. Now I have an excuse for talking to myself. One of my sisters is so happy for me that I have another living being in the house. Because it’s a rescue cat he won’t let me hold him yet.

My mother is half Niuean and I was born there and we lived there until I was three. My father is also a teacher and when he went from school to school, we went with him; Dunedin, Wairoa in Hawkes Bay and Dargaville for high school. I went to teacher’s college in Hamilton. My first job was in a three-teacher school in rural Taranaki after that I taught in Rotorua. I always wanted to work overseas.

This is my second time in Indonesia, I came here from Cairo. My first teaching job away from home was in Thailand, then London, Sumatra, The Philippine’s, Japan for ten years, then Egypt. Everywhere I go there’s at least one other New Zealander.


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.

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