More FM radio host Lana Searle has been left overwhelmed by a hand-delivered note from a young boy and his family after she overheard a neighbour's homophobic conversation about her.
Searle explained she was painting the inside of the fence at her property in Christchurch when two women walked past and said: "Is there where the gay girl from the radio lives?"
The broadcaster said the women, who couldn't see she was there, made "stupid comments" including saying they "better get out of there" to avoid "catching it".
"I really do wish I had hit them up... I was a bit gutted," Searle said on air on Wednesday morning.
"Because I am in a same-sex relationship, it's heightened for me. It's something I always worry about."
Searle's fiance Katie Cochrane posted about the incident on the community Facebook page, which prompted a wave of supportive comments. Having returned to painting the fence that same week, Searle said she was visited by a young boy on a scooter.
"He sort of went slowly and kind of looked at me and I gave him a wee smile and continued painting," she said, explaining that the boy then came past another two or three times.
Eventually, he asked: "Is your name Katie or Lana?" before producing a box of chocolates and a handwritten card.
Searle said the boy, whose name was Frankie, told her: "I just want to really apologise for the incident that happened and we hope that you're okay," adding that he had been "looking for her all morning".
In the card, Frankie wrote that he was sad to hear what happened, telling Searle and Cochrane: "I'd like to say that not everyone thinks like that. So I'd like to say that what they said means nothing."
Meanwhile, Frankie's siblings Archie and Addison also chimed in, writing "I hope you feel better" and "I am sad to hear what those people said about you. They are only two people in this world - don't listen to them."
The parents of the children also added a note, telling the couple there was "no space for hatred in this world" and to keep their heads held high.
Searle said she had been "stopped in her tracks" by the empathy exhibited by Frankie, who "spoke so beautifully". The radio host admitted that overhearing the women's homophobic conversation had shaken her more than she realised.
"I heard what I know people think," she said. "I heard the unedited version when usually I hear a filtered version of it, because no one would ever say that to your face."
Since the attention the Facebook post received, Searle said she felt confident the women would now be aware of the situation.
"So as long as they know that we heard, and that's not acceptable - job done," she concluded.