Black Ferns lock Charmaine Smith working on the frontline

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Smith is a police officer in Auckland and has been balancing work, training, and more home life than normal.


Smith and her partner, Tamati, have two dogs and a cat at home with them in their bubble in South Auckland. They have Beau who is a five year-old golden retriever and Awa who is a six month-old rottweiler.


“We have been playing with our dogs a lot during isolation and taking them for walks. Our dogs love feijoas. We don’t know if it’s an isolation thing, but our neighbours tree drops feijoas onto our property and so their favourite thing at the moment is for us to slightly break open the feijoa for them and then they are entertained for hours.”


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Originally from a netball background, in the space of just two years, Smith went from rugby rookie to Rugby World Cup winner in 2017.


The 29-year old said it’s been an interesting time at work over the last month, as she’s in road policing.


“Our work is partly the same because we are still out there trying to make sure that the roads are safe. Obviously, we don’t want people in hospital because of road crashes, so we are still sending the same road safety messages. But on the flipside, we also have some new powers under the health act that we have to learn. As a sergeant on road policing, I am responsible for seven staff.


“It’s about learning it myself and then being able to teach it to them. The biggest thing for me is that we as police officers, are directly affected and we could catch Covid-19. So, Health and Safety has been the most important message, so that everyone can go back to their respective bubble safe after finishing their shift.”


Smith said they are vigorous in making sure every surface is wiped down and when they are on check points, they have their gloves and masks on. And of course, there is a lot of sanitiser.


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From level 3, Smith’s partner, who works in construction, will go back to work. But she said he’s been amazing around the house, while she’s been on the frontline.


“There have been a lot of chores done around the house and he’s been my full time chef. He’s a master at cooking steak now and we have those pre-made meal boxes which have been really good.


“Usually I would stop to buy Subway or something like that for a meal, but they aren’t open of course, so I’ve had to take prepared food to work, which has actually been really good for me.”


Workouts have been a key component for Smith during lockdown. They have cleaned out all the cobwebs and converted their garage into a gym. Because she works different hours as a police officer, she is used to training on her own.


“I also do F45 training and my club, One Tree Hill, are doing live workouts. So, you flick the laptop open and someone is watching you and telling you what to do. That’s been good, especially for the days when you don’t have as much motivation. But we also have awesome support from our trainers at the Black Ferns and Auckland Rugby.”


Smith said when it comes to DIY, she was on the cobweb cleaning duties in the garage. But their gardens are looking immaculate.


“We have been weed eating the garden and the lawns. And the lawns couldn’t be anymore mown if we tried.”



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