Learning & Information | Rukuhia Te Puna Mātauranga

Shian McCartan – Lower Hutt


“I like to keep busy and go out and do lots of things. During Lockdown I couldn’t go out and do my usual activities but I liked being home with the staff all the time. I love the staff.

I go to WelTec three mornings a week. I leave at 8.30 to catch the bus. I also have a job. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, I deliver circulars. We get picked up in a van and go to Petone.

I missed going to my computer course at WelTec and am very happy to be back doing that and my job again.

During Lockdown we had a new routine. Each day we had breakfast and then tidied our rooms.

I like keeping my room tidy and having everything in its place. It’s my office.

At 10 o’clock we met with the staff, sang the national anthem together and talked about what we wanted to do for the morning.

I like writing and spent a lot of time in my office writing my diary.

We have a garden in a glasshouse. I like looking after it. I get the parsley and put it with stock and other ingredients and make a soup. I did that in Lockdown a lot.

I do the shopping for our food once a week with my housemate. We couldn’t do that during Lockdown. Only one person could go so Lillian did it. We had to check that she was buying the right things. Sometimes she didn’t but that’s ok.

We helped make the dinners and had food theme weeks where we tried new meals. I liked the mince chop suey and corned beef with cabbage from Pacific Island Week. We also had a McRata night named after our street (in place of McDonalds).

On Sundays, I get up early and go to church. I like going to church and seeing my church friends. I couldn’t go during Lockdown.

We have a roast on Sundays too. I like getting the vegetables ready. We have roast beef or pork with potatoes, carrots and pumpkin. And we have ice cream on Sunday.

We made crafts for Easter, Anzac Day and Mother’s Day. We didn’t have much at home and the shops were shut.


We needed something red to make poppies. I gave my red T-shirt. We cut poppies out and put them in the shape of a cross. We hung it on the fence so people visiting the cemetery near our house could take one to pay their respects.

We made Easter baskets for our Easter egg hunt and I made a card for my mum for Mother’s Day.

Afternoons were free time. I liked going for walks and bike rides in the neighbourhood. I have my own bike that I saved up to buy. I also did weights in the gym (in our garage). Sometimes we challenge the staff to do weights, but they don’t want to.

I love rugby and am a big Hurricanes and All Blacks fan. I missed the rugby during Lockdown. I watched the supercars and V8 car racing on TV instead. I am so happy the rugby is on again now. Go the Hurricanes!

I like greeting visitors and being a leader in our house. During Lockdown my flatmate became unwell and had to go away in an ambulance.

We all helped the staff get help. My job was to meet the ambulance people and show them in. The staff said I was very helpful.

I grew a beard in Lockdown and I like it. I am keeping it now because it makes me look older.” – 17 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 (now known as Your Way | Kia Roha).

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