Situated close to Kāpiti Island is a small off-shore islet called Motungarara.

The islet, covering 1.2 hectares, has historical importance especially as Ngati Toa chiefs Te Rangihiroa (younger brother of Te Pehi Kupe) and Te Hiko had a partly fortified village on it and signed the Treaty of Waitangi there on June 4, 1840.

It's also Karl Webber's main place of residence.

What a go-to place to self-isolate during the Covid 19 coronavirus lockdown.


But Karl has decided to bunker down in Paraparaumu Beach where he is doing a lot of community work.

One of the key reason's he decided to stay on the mainland was to help Kāpiti district councillor Martin Halliday, whose portfolios are health and elderly, with some community response iniatives including setting up a new Facebook group called Kapiti Covid 19 Support Network.

Karl Webber about to go for a bike ride.
Karl Webber about to go for a bike ride.

Karl has also been supporting other online initiatives like Self Isolation Support — Kapiti, Kapiti Online Market, Self-Isolation Activities New Zealand as well as posting information to about a dozen community pages, his own page as well as other pages he administers.

"I do Facebook quite well and while we're doing this [lockdown] it's one thing I can do to help out."

An avid photographer, Karl has also posted various photos, especially sunsets, to lift people's spirits.

Sunset on the Kāpiti Coast. Photo / Karl Webber
Sunset on the Kāpiti Coast. Photo / Karl Webber

And he's used caution tape at the Maclean Park playground in Paraparaumu Beach too.

Karl has been alert to the coronavirus situation since it began in China in mid December.

"I was jumping up and down on Facebook late December saying that New Zealand needed to close its borders.


"I have been quite vocal about this in December and January.

"I follow a lot of international stuff especially when it's tied up with health and economics."

But he thought "we've done a fantastic job" so far and it would be interesting to see the government's next moves to eliminate the virus.

"I think we might be in isolation for a lot longer than people think."

He's happy to be in his mainland house which has the all important wi-fi connection and was a bit more comfortable than his island bach.

In his bubble is "four teddy bears" and a whanau member who lives in another part of the house.

And he's got a supply of gloves, masks and a bucket of soapy water with bleach to sterilise stuff.

His message to the community was simple.

"Look after each other.

"We're all in this together."

He can see his island retreat but is happy to be on the mainland to help out.

"I love being isolated but I really love this community so I want to play as much of a part as I can."