The country has officially gone into lockdown to give New Zealanders the best chance in the fight against Covid-19.

The Herald asked all Wellington City councillors about how they were planning to spend the next four weeks.

Councillor Jill Day

"My first job is to tidy my work station. I no longer have any excuses to not get it done. I think I might need to Google Marie Kondo for some tips. I'm not sure how much of the mess brings me joy. Could be an interesting process. My badly neglected vegetable garden will finally grow some winter veges.

"As a teacher, I believe that this time is an opportunity for families to enjoy time together. I won't be trying to replicate school at home. There is so much to learn from being involved in everyday tasks and just talking with each other. We will be reading a lot of books together and making things. I want my children to look back at this time and feel that they learnt some valuable skills about adaptation and being creative. We will also be looking at what we can do to stay active and spend some time outside.

Councillor Jill Day says she might Google some tips from Marie Kondo to tidy her work station. Photo / Supplied.
Councillor Jill Day says she might Google some tips from Marie Kondo to tidy her work station. Photo / Supplied.

"And finally our dog Nikau is pretty stoked to have everyone at home. I think he's planning to initiate a few games of chase, by stealing our socks [his favourite game] and having longer snuggles in bed with us in the morning."

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Councillor Jenny Condie

"The only place I can do online meetings without having my 7 and 4-year-olds interrupt is in the bedroom. I prop my laptop up on a couple of pillows and my home office is ready. I attended yesterday morning's online councillor meeting still wearing my pyjama pants, because when you're sitting in bed anyway it just feels practical!

"I read emails, papers and Twitter while sitting on the sofa, usually with a boy on either side snuggled up and watching TV. Mr Monkey, Monkey Mechanic is a current YouTube favourite.

Councillor Jenny Condie's youngest child is ready to muck in. Photo / Supplied.
Councillor Jenny Condie's youngest child is ready to muck in. Photo / Supplied.

"Our big challenge will be that this is a house full of introverts with a very extroverted 4- year-old. Finding time and space for everyone to get some time out when they need it will be essential."

Councillor Sean Rush

"I'm at home as the primary caregiver as my wife is with the Department of Corrections' Covid-19 response unit. The first task I set myself was to tidy up the lounge/living room after which I was going to set out a planned roster of activities for my 5-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter. I had visions of my daughter sitting at the kitchen table painting and my son doing 'Mathletics' that was provided by his school on his mother's iPad. An exercise regime would also feature, for children and dad.

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"Fat chance. After clearing emails, I had no time before our first remote council call – the third parent, the TV, was called upon to take charge. As an adviser to international energy sector multi-nationals and governments, my office is already set up for remote working. It is on our ground floor. Above is a wooden floor kitchen/lounge/dining area. I often hear the pitter-patter of mischievous feet and the sliding of a chair towards the pantry door, usually followed by a loud bang as something drops on the floor while the biscuit tin is acquired and liberated."

Councillor Laurie Foon

"I am lucky, we have a sunny little office with a few of my favourite books and pictures to work from - the only trick is my lovely husband needs to work somewhere as well. We might need to take turns for the top spot. My darling daughters are drifting in and out of zoom meetings - it is a nice way to introduce them to colleagues. Everything is feeling more humanistic.

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"My last minute thing was to pick up my electric bike which was having an overhaul at Bicycle Junction- a girl just can't be without her bike in a lockdown!"

Councillor Diane Calvert

"I have a room already set up as a home office because of the nature of my past and present work as a councillor. As a councillor, we have been asked to work from home and we are starting to become quite proficient at online meetings with each other rather than face to face. Over the next few weeks I will be focused on the economic development area for Wellington city.

"My husband is the main 'chef' in the family and a great cook of Asian dishes so we will be having a few curries I suspect. Our children are all adult with one granddaughter. We are still working through who will be in our 'bubble'.

"I had to get pet food from the local pet shop at the last minute as it's not sold in the supermarket. I would have loved to have got some hand sanitiser but that has been off the shelves for the past couple of weeks. I also went and got some solid shampoo and conditioner bars from a department store but forgot to get gel nail polish remover."

Councillor Malcolm Sparrow

"I have a desk in the corner of our lounge at which I often work in the evenings when I'm not out at a meeting. I will continue to work at that because my wife who is now also working from home has commandeered my office!

"One last minute thing was visiting McDonald's yesterday afternoon for a 'final' Kiwi burger. As expected, the drive-thru line was very long, even at 2.30pm, but they were well set up to deal with the huge additional custom before shutting up shop for however long it takes.

Councillor Malcolm Sparrow made sure he made one last minute visit to McDonald's for a 'final' Kiwi burger before lockdown. Photo / Supplied.
Councillor Malcolm Sparrow made sure he made one last minute visit to McDonald's for a 'final' Kiwi burger before lockdown. Photo / Supplied.

"In the past 24 hours I've already been involved in two lots of video conferencing which is new to me. Councillors have started to use this means to discuss the issues we're currently dealing with. Running the city has to continue, but it's happening somewhat differently now!"

Councillor Fleur Fitzsimons

"I have my old dining room table repurposed as a desk in our bedroom, it has a lovely view of Island Bay and can be a kid-free zone. I have all home office equipment sorted so can still email, attend Zoom meetings and be active online.

"We will need to up our game on cooking but I'm hoping being home every night means my toddler and baby will develop a taste for vegetables, it's my family project for the lockdown!

Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

"I have four kids at home with my partner and entertaining them is our biggest challenge.
We have already talked to parents of their friends about organising some Zoom play dates and will regularly Skype their grandparents who are in Hawke's Bay. Last night as a family, we watched the first episode of 1980s sit-com Full House. The kids loved it and there are eight seasons so that may become an evening tradition."

Councillor Nicola Young

"I've self-employed for 24 years, so I have a well-equipped study, and I'm used to working alone. I've already made a big batch of French onion soup, so I bought an extra block of Gruyere cheese. I'll be using FaceTime to keep in touch with my family in London (and watching my grandson taking his first steps).

Councillor Nicola Young at her desk at home. Photo / Matthew Plummer.
Councillor Nicola Young at her desk at home. Photo / Matthew Plummer.

"I've a few projects, including the sorting and digitalisation of years of old family photographs; they've been sitting in my airing cupboard for 10 years, since my parents died. My children reckon I'd have a list of projects, even if I was on a desert island."

Deputy mayor Sarah Free

"I'll be working from home in my study, which faces north and looks over Worser Bay towards Matiu Island. At home now, it's just me and my husband Ross and our tabby cat Leo. We are going to miss family and friends, but things could be worse. Luckily we live in an age where technology can connect us. Tonight, we are planning to FaceTime family and have "dinner" and conversation together.

"Last minute purchases were some plants for the garden. Apart from work-related stuff, I'm planning to use the time to catch up on some gardening, and sorting of papers I've had for too many decades! I might get some craft projects going if there's enough spare time."

Councillor Rebecca Matthews

"My new office mate is my 14-year-old daughter Thea, as my desk and [messy] papers take up part of her bedroom as it has the most room to spare in our small railway cottage in Ngaio, and my husband Ewan had dibs for his work station on the kitchen table! My stepson Cameron will also be doing schoolwork in his room.

Councillor Rebecca Matthews and her 14-year-old daughter Thea. Photo / Supplied.
Councillor Rebecca Matthews and her 14-year-old daughter Thea. Photo / Supplied.

"We're planning to start our days in camp lockdown with a family walk around the hilly bits of the neighbourhood for some fresh air and exercise. I will be missing decent coffee. As for entertainment, we are all big readers and am relieved I did some panic borrowing at Waitohi before the libraries closed!"


Councillor Iona Pannett

"Councillors are generally mobile and just need a laptop and cellphone. I have a desk that I can work from. I am working at this time with my colleagues to make decisions as is necessary, getting information out to the community and supporting any community welfare responses that I can. Our staff obviously need to get on with delivering the emergency response and I don't want to get in their way so I will be doing some background work in preparation for when things return to some kind of normal. I need to refresh my understanding of the District Plan for example [1000 pages plus] so will be working on that.

"My children are primary school age and are using the dining table for their school work. They are not on holiday! They will be working from 9-3pm with breaks. They will also use tools like FaceTime after 3pm to keep in touch with their friends. Some after school activities are going online so they will continue with these."

Councillors Teri O'Neill, Tamatha Paul, Simon Woolf and mayor Andy Foster did not respond to the Herald's request for comment.