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The Bus Family

We are just an ordinary-ish everyday family from the small town of Te Awamutu.  One day Erinna had this idea…

Her arms flailing like a cop directing traffic, she said “Imagine if we could get a whole nation of people to link arms across our country making a stand together to value our children!”

She couldn’t shake this idea and so two years later, after convincing me, Chris (Big Kid), we agreed we should try and make this happen.   We run a small film business, Big Kid Films and so decided to make this our first ever documentary project.  At this point we had no bus, no money to get one, and were unsure of how we would move forward.  Regardless, we put the idea out to our community and we were, and continue to be, overwhelmed by the response and support.

New Zealand has an unacceptable rate of child abuse (actually any rate is unacceptable) but we believe that together we can make a difference.  A massive symbolic gesture like linking arms across our country may not magically fix the problem, but it could sure raise a lot of awareness, bring communities together, and be a bold statement as a country.

So, starting May 2017 we have put our ‘normal’ business activities on hold to instead put all our energies into the Stop The Bus film project.  For one year we are traveling New Zealand along with our 4 boys, Joshua, Noah, Lachie and Theodore.  We are going into New Zealand communities and meeting the people – the doers, dreamers, and initiators of change, but also those who have experienced abuse.  We are sharing these stories and raising awareness, creating discussion and empowering more people to be active in their own community – even if that means starting in your own home.

We invite people to journey and learn with us as we travel and discover what it means to be a kiwi kid, and how we can better ensure that all kids are treated as our taonga.

Joshua (9yrs)
cricket player
Noah (9yrs)
Tree Climber
Lachie (7yrs)
Theo (5yrs)
Filming this project with our whole family means the kids come along with us for almost all our filming (unless the information is sensitive).   That means they may be sitting with us in a lawyers office, a politicians office or a social service agency! Other times they get to run around with other kids and be a part of events we are filming.  While we are on the road our kids are enrolled with Te Aho O Te Kura Pounamu which keeps them pretty busy when we are not filming.  What a privilege for our boys to experience first hand our big backyard here in NZ and the many different people who live here.

Big Kid FBInstagramBig Kid Films
Driver (literally and figuratively)
Stop The BusInstagramDirector

To be honest – this project has stirred up all kinds of feelings and we share ups and downs, excitement, hope, sadness, anger, doubt, fear and then lots of hope again.

We may be the ones on the journey, but this isn’t actually about us.   As we have discovered – there are a whole lot of passionate people out there who also value our kids and want to see a change in New Zealand.  We are humbly grateful to all the people and organisations who have supported Stop The Bus Charitable Trust to make this project possible.