About Us | Mo Matou

Life in a Pandemic – Chief Executive Introduction


On 21 March 2020, Aotearoa entered a situation no one had ever encountered, or imagined, before. We were suddenly at Level 2 of a new pandemic alert response system, due to the outbreak of Covid-19. Four days later, we were at Level 4 of the alert system; a full Lockdown confining people to their home bubble.

The Covid-19 Pandemic Lockdown required fast action and adjustment to our everyday lives. For disabled people and their family/whānau sudden adjustment can require significant organisation and disruption.

Life Unlimited (now known as Your Way | Kia Roha) created this book, Life in a Pandemic.  It captures a snapshot in time for people living with a disability and/or autism and their family/whānau. It shows the resilience, strength and love of all those involved. Some bonded, some were lonely and bored, some turned to technology while others found solace in their culture and ancestral lands.

Wherever possible the story has been told in the words of the person involved.


We interviewed people from Auckland down to Christchurch. Those involved were asked to share what Lockdown was like for them and their life.

Thank you to the skilled writers for their ability to capture the essence of what mattered, to the photographers for their stunning images and to our graphic designer for a design that in its simplicity is very powerful.

Thank you also to those who supported the production of this book. Without the Ministry of Health, the Brian Perry Charitable Trust and Fuji Xerox this book would not have been possible.

Big thanks to the Your Way | Kia Roha team who at short notice found a wonderful mix of people to interview and to the commitment of Mary Anne Gill who both wrote stories and managed the project. Also thank you to the organisations who supported access and suggested some people to interview.

The last word goes to those involved in letting us into their homes, sharing their story and being open to participate.

Your independence and resilience, regardless of what is thrown your way, are admirable. Thank you and may every opportunity be presented for you to continue to live your life in your way.

Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei

Seek the treasure you value most dearly:
if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain

Chief Executive
Life Unlimited Charitable Trust – 14 September 2020

  • This article appeared in Life in a Pandemic, a book about disabled and autistic people in Covid-19 Lockdown, 2020. © Life Unlimited Charitable Trust.