Compassion for community
‘‘It made me want to get more involved with whatever I could do.’’
And so, just like the people in Ayrshire, she rolled her sleeves up and got involved.
In 1980, she was offered an opportunity to train as a relationships counsellor and then became a counsellor, tutor and supervisor with now-disestablished Relationships Aotearoa – originally, Marriage Guidance.
She also co-founded Tough Love in Matamata in the 1980s.
She became a Family Court Mediator, and it was going in to bat for children caught up in custody and access issues that really got her blood pumping.
‘‘I worked with a lot of couples. It was so satisfying.
‘‘Although you want everyone’s needs to be met, I came out barefaced, battling for the kids.’’
When she left the raw, emotional side of relationships after 17 years, it was for the more joyful side as a marriage celebrant.
Sixteen years later, she people tie the knot.
‘‘I just love it, it’s wonderful to be with a couple as they start their life journey together.’’
Instead of a fee, she asks her couples to donate to Rotary’s End Polio Now campaign, which earned her a Rotary Paul Harris Fellow in 2013.
When Victim Support was established in New Zealand in 1990, the police approached Hunter to be involved as a foundation member.
‘‘In counselling and victim support, although different, you are enabling and empowering people. Both have been such a pivotal part of my life.’’ still helps
She was chair of the Victim Support Waikato District exec for 14 years and has now passed the baton over and serves as a board member.
She also serves as a session clerk with Matamata’s St Andrews Presbyterian Church, where she has been an elder for over 25 years.
Although it was Hunter’s early teaching that inspired her to give to others, she says her words to live by come from her good friend, and Rotarian Graham Guilford.
‘‘If you don’t get involved with your community, you are just a bunch of people living in the same place.’’