My house, my bubble: As New Zealanders stay home to fight COVID-19, Fiona Connor is talking to well-known Kiwis about what's helping to pass the time while learning more about their craft and passions.
Still out and about solving crimes, life in lockdown is much of the same for Detective Inspector Scott Beard at his Hibiscus Coast home in Auckland.
The top cop has been with the New Zealand Police for nearly 40 years, rising through the ranks with a passion for solving serious crime.
He's worked on a number of high profile cases throughout his career but garnered widespread public support and respect for his handling of the Grace Millane case, while also compassionately supporting her relatives and fronting media through the unimaginable time.
Upon the devastating discovery of her body in the Waitakere Ranges, his emotional address pushed Beard into the spotlight not just as an officer, but an empathetic father. He never left the Millane family's side through the eventual gruelling trial of her 27-year-old murderer.
Detective Inspector Beard revealed earlier this year that amid the investigation, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer shortly after returning from Grace’s funeral in England. But his focus was unwavering, telling his specialist he must be ready to attend the murder trial by the time it began in November, after having his prostate removed in July.
With the alert level 4 lockdown in place to contain COVID-19, he tells Newshub about what he is missing the most, fears for his children and gives an update on his health.
Fiona Connor: What's your average weekday looking like at the moment?
Scott Beard: I am still working, so on a weekly basis some early shifts, some late shifts and occasionally work from home, exercise, touching base (social media and on the phone) with family and friends.
FC: What have you got done around the home you've been putting off?
SB: Just more cleaning and tidying up, listening to music CD's I haven’t listened to for a long time.
FC: What are you doing to keep fit?
SB: Running, cycling, exercycling – I was swimming at the beach (obviously, not at the moment).
FC: Is there anything about lockdown you have been struggling with, what's been keeping you strong mentally?
SB: At this time of year I am usually really actively involved in football, being president of the local club, so not being able to play, coach and watch is a real struggle – I’m suffering withdrawal symptoms!
The reality is being able to go to work helps.
FC: What have you been reflecting on with extra time on your hands?
SB: That I’m fortunate that I can go to work, albeit there is the need for a lot of precautions and how lucky we are to live in NZ compared to other countries.
The way we have had to respond, while difficult, it makes complete sense when you hear about the daily deaths in other countries.
I have a son who lives in London and another who is a doctor in NZ. I worry for both of them in different ways but ultimately for the same reason. With my other children, I think about the long-term impact COVID19 will have on them.
FC: What is the latest on your health?
SB: I feel fit, healthy and fine, but have to have another blood test next week as part of the ongoing prostate cancer follow up.
FC: What takeaway food are you missing the most?
Chicken chow mein.
FC: Name a go-to meal you've been indulging on
Steak with mushrooms, fresh veggies and chips – which I cook.
FC: What do you think makes for a good watch on TV?
SB: I’m not really a TV fan apart from sports so I’m missing the English Premier League, the Phoenix etc and just sport in general.
FC: What is the first thing you will enjoy with your loved ones once the lockdown lifts?
SB: I have grandchildren I haven’t physically seen and been with including a 2-month-old granddaughter. I can’t wait to catch up and cuddle all of them.
FC: What will you never take for granted again?
Just how therapeutic being involved with team sports can be - whether that's coaching, playing or watching.