Family of six to spend a year on a bus, filming a child abuse documentary

'We're committed to doing it and we'll find a way to fund it,' says Chris Lane, back right. He's pictured with wife ...


‘We’re committed to doing it and we’ll find a way to fund it,’ says Chris Lane, back right. He’s pictured with wife Erinna and kids, from left, Theodore, 4, Lachie, 6, Joshua, 8, and Noah, 8.

Erinna and Chris Lane, of Te Awamutu, plan to pack up their life and take their family on a documentary-making mission.

The pair run Big Kid Productions and are taking their skills to the road to show what ordinary Kiwis can do to prevent child abuse.

“What we can do is we can make a film. So that’s what we’re going to try to do… It’s just about getting people to actually do something,” Chris said.

“Actual tangible change rather than clicking outrage on Facebook, which doesn’t actually change anything.”

Their project, which starts in October,  has been dubbed Stop The Bus and the aim is to produce a 90-minute film, with ongoing updates for social media.

Their four boys – Joshua, Noah, Lachie and Theodore – are reportedly super keen on the adventure.

“We’re just everyday, ordinary, ‘normal’ New Zealanders and we’re going to put our family on a bus for a year,” Erinna said.?

They’ll be looking for people who are making their communities stronger and already have a list of suggestions.

A bus will be the Lanes’ home for the time on the road but they’re still working on getting one.

They’ve spent about six months on research, including working with Child Matters, and have been visited by MPs.

“We’re committed to doing it and we’ll find a way to fund it,” Chris said.

Erinna and Chris started Big Kid Productions off with mostly wedding work, although they more recently made music videos for Avalanche City.

They’ve wanted to get into some film and documentary work for themselves for a while so Stop The Bus is that project.

“It’s quite a big deal and we don’t know how much money we will have to live or anything at the moment,” Erinna said.

“But we really believe in it so we’re going to do it regardless.”

Child abuse isn’t a positive topic but the Lanes want to make a documentary that will empower people to do something.

?”A lot of the documentaries that are out there are quite shocking and focus on the negative stuff,” Erinna said.

People featured in the film may not necessarily be dealing directly with child abuse, but could be working with at risk kids or helping a sports club create young leaders.

Chris is in charge of filming and editing, and hopes he’ll find space to work on their bus.

He describes Erinna as the “critical eye” and manager, but she’ll also be busy home schooling the boys.

Her vision for the documentary was to have people all across New Zealand linking arms to take ownership of the child abuse issue – a gesture too big to ignore.

So, in each place they visit, they’ll give people the chance to link up in front of some iconic local scenery.

Two other major aims of their documentary are to show child abuse exists across the board, not just in some sectors of society, and to give people ideas about what they can do to prevent it.

Outrage alone isn’t going to do it, Chris said.

“Everyone got enraged [about the deaths of the Kahui twins] and now we’ve got Moko 10 years later and everyone’s enraged.”?

The Lanes have been working with Child Matters, who will be their subject matter experts.

They are also supported by law firm Tompkins Wake and are hoping to set Stop The Bus up as a charitable organisation.

To support the project, visit

 – Stuff ––to-spend-a-year-on-a-bus-filming-a-child-abuse-documentary


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