I am interested in your thoughts on how to get started with creating a local economy when a lot of the “locals” support the current system.

I live in a small village 2hrs south of Auckland (just south west of Hamilton more accurately), we have just under 2 acres. We planted the block out 7 or so years ago with fruit and nut trees and have just returned to live there in January. We have started our permaculture gardens one chook tractor bed at a time, and are just getting to the point where we have some surplus. The next step we thought would be to begin to trade produce for compost materials (which is not keeping up with our demand) This seems quite a natural way to begin local trade; we are hoping that our example will spread under the radar for now and quietly set an example for what can be achieved. Our hope is also that we will draw out other like minded people in the village and when we can, offer some community space in our gardens and support meetings.

Small community’s like ours are good at getting their business’s to sponsor local schools and events, and most people are involved in the local community one way or another.  Business’s who are involved are supported by the locals too who buy their products or services.

1.What would the next step be? Creating another value system so profits aren’t funnelled back out of the village when there is no immediate trade option?

2. How do we transition business’s who like seeing their name in print on sponsorship pages, making them perhaps appear more charitable, when in effect it is good business advertising and thy reap the rewards? 2b. And when the school/community group needs real money?

I would be interested in your thoughts? To coin a phrase Finn Mackesy used last night” you don’t have to agree with what Im saying” I am putting it out there for your honest feedback and thoughts.


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  • Indeed, local currency, but its important to make meaningful ways to spend it, its a problem when some people dont know how to spend.
  • How do you define value then and who gets to control the currency, if any?

    These questions have been explored for a very long time.

    It is good that are seeping out into public discussion.

    The solutions have also been around for a long time too.

    It just required that the current 'solution' starts to fall apart

    enough for the hurt to reopen the questions at a social level.

    Here's one newly emerged idea: http://bigthink.com/ideas/38488

    which bypasses the failed propositions of bank-created currency.

    • The "time bank" concept, that has been working really well in Lyttleton, gives equal value to an hour of effort, which I really like. This is excellent for services, especially services that have no material component, but not quite as useful for goods. I would like to know how Lyttleton Time Bank manages this aspect, and services where some raw materials are involved ( I carve wood, for example. The wood has value before I start shaping it, and more value once I have put time into doing this)



  • I live in a village too. Mt Eden where a group called mt eden village people are making a community garden and using coffee grounds as compost, seeing we have so many cafes. With a higher density of people, many with surprisingly good gardens there is lots of potential for barter without driving anywhere. We have planted more than 100 fruit trees in schools and parks. mtedenvillagepeople.co.nz
  • Hi...

    Here is a great read on local economies...




    It's quite heavy, but some great ideas.

    • Thanks Jolien! I have been looking for this book so Im soo pleased you've sent me this. Thanks again.
  • Hi - 

    Green Dollar schemes have been around for a long time. Check out this: http://www.lets-linkup.com/32-NewZealand.htm

    The biggest ever in New Zealand was run by the Peoples' Centre in Auckland under Sue Bradford and she might be worth contacting ... once at: Sue.Bradford@parliament.govt.nz, but now working for -- http://www.welfarejustice.org.nz

    • Thanks will check it out!
  • Thanks for kicking it off.  Most systems of barter means trying to find people willing to do a swap but the idea of a local currency means a wider circle to trade with.

    The idea in the video where a 10% of the currency went to community projects is worth considering.

    Still thinking on things.........

    • Thanks Lisa, I really like the idea of a % going to community projects, I need to expand these thoughts some more... hi ho hi ho its off to research I go!
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