Oliver is just 10 months and Hugo is two years older. They’ve been home for eight weeks now and we’re working from home. We do feel fortunate, we’ve watched Oliver start crawling and standing up and they play together more. They start back at daycare on Monday.

I work inhouse as a recruiter for Palo Alto Networks and have been there for 5 years. We’re not hiring currently but our CEO said right at the beginning of this that everyone’s job was secure and I’ve been redeployed onto another interesting project.

Covid-19 is a bit like talking politics or religion – it can be polarising. We don’t take the kids to the playground but some of our friends do. We have a bucket bike, the kids sit in the front, so everyday we get some fresh air and some exercise.

I lived in Days Bay until I was 18, Dunedin for 5 years , Auckland for 3, London for 2 then I’ve been here for 9 years now. I’m the eldest of three, my siblings are twins, my brother lives near my parents and my sister in Brisbane. We had hoped to see the family this Christmas, if we can’t get back this year, we will next.


We met in Chamonix but were both living in London at the time. I was born in Wellington and moved to Auckland when I was three, mum and dad are still there.

We have a small apartment, it does have a basement though and we take it in turns to work down there, either before or after lunch. We put the boys to bed at eight o clock and then we have two hours to relax and watch TV before we go to bed – there’s no time for anything else. Hugo speaks the best Dutch, we’re growing a translation tool!

I work for a very small start-up that has sprung out of Delft University. I’m the sales director and work from a shared office. The government advisory is still to work from home – at least until September. I usually travel every quarter to the US or Asia but there won’t be any face to face sales meetings this year. We are very niche, it will be tough for moving forward, most of my deals are over the phone.

We’re not sure where we’ll end up, probably Wellington or Auckland.


Image supplied by interviewee

This interview and the others in the series are an extension of my new book “This Is Us” that will be published by Exisle and released on the 1st of June 2020. These interviews are slightly different from the ones in the book as they focus on New Zealanders living abroad in this time of isolation. If you can think of suitable interview subjects please let me know via .

Exisle have now 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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