Christchurch mayoral hopeful Jim Anderton finally broke his silence today about what he has been doing in the aftermath of the earthquake.

Anderton, who was leading the polls before Saturday's big quake, has kept a low profile this week - leaving the media spotlight to mayor Bob Parker. But he has been out and about in the community.

Anderton's campaign team put out a media statement today outlining what he has been doing.

Anderton told it wasn't electioneering, but simply the same information that is posted by his team on Facebook and sent to supporters.

Anderton said he had deliberately shied away from involving news media in what he was doing because it was clear earthquake victims were getting sick of the public attention.

"I was at Addington Raceway (welfare centre) last Saturday night. There was only about 30 to 40 people there. The mood was fine. When I went back on Tuesday a young guy said to me 'I'm glad you haven't brought any (news) cameras in. We feel exploited'," he said.

This week welfare centres across Christchurch stopped news media access after people staying there began to become agitated about the attention they were receiving.

Anderton said he had been impressed by how people had helped each other.

"There are guys going into houses to get old ladies out and then taking them home for a place to stay. The spirit of cooperation has been humbling to witness. So many people across our community have kicked into action and pulled together," he said.

"There have been fantastic stories of neighbours, community groups, students, Civil Defence, Orion, and the Council helping out, clearing up the mess, offering refuge and working round the clock to restore crucial services such as electricity and water supplies.

Anderton said he had worked closely with the Addington Welfare Centre, contacted Ngai Tahu for mattresses, and Barrington Fresh Choice supermarket for items such as nappies and deodorant.

Anderton had also visited schools and his family had baked food and donated frozen goods to the needy. A food collection point has been set up at his office in Sydenham.