To be a Christchurch Auntie you have to be kind and ‘non-judgey’.
The Aunties now number 2,500, a network of people providing practical support to women and children who’ve experienced domestic violence.
Members donate cash, goods and time. The giving is co-ordinated via social media.
As part of a series Newsroom is running over summer, Christchurch documentary-maker Gerard Smyth catches up with Christchurch Aunties founder Heather Milne. She says “We have a little idea of what it must be like for women and children who have to leave their home in the middle of the night. We can’t have their experience but we get an idea of the grief and loss they’re experiencing, and I think that motivates people to donate.”
The series, called Changing South, looks at life in the South Island – the people, the places and how events like the Christchurch earthquake have had a lasting impact.