Modern day bartering in the form of Time Bank
By Jessica Rowe
Bartering for Goods and Services is an ancient style of business that once made the world go round.
Nowadays it’s called ‘time banking’ and it’s taking over New Zealand one community at a time.
The first time bank in New Zealand was set up in Lyttleton and the masterminds behind it see it as going back to the future.
“Years ago, neighbours knew each other and helped each other,” says Lyttleton Time Bank spokeswoman Julie Lee.
“We’ve got busy, we’ve moved faster and that has almost got lost. Time banking is a way of bringing that back.”
It’s a one plus one formula; a member of the time bank does an hours work for another member and they earn a credit for their time bank account.
They can use that credit to get something done by someone else and it’s all logged on the time banking website.
“So what ever you are offering; it could be child minding, gardening, graphic design, it could be anything,” says Ms Lee.
The Lyttelton time bank has more than 325 members, including one of the local schools, where time bankers can earn credits by teaching ‘early world development’.
Lyttelton West School earns its credits by doing jobs such as ironing, dropping off leaflets and presenting a weekly radio show. The principal says it helps the kids learn about being involved in a community.
“It gives us a chance to interact with the community and that is what it really is about,” says principal Andrew Barker.
“There is an old saying; it takes a community to raise a child – and that is really true in this case.”
Time banking is spreading throughout New Zealand, from Kaitaia in the North, to Gore in the South.
Soon, they’ll be establishing a national body, as this most ancient and rudimentary form of trading spreads throughout the country.
source: newshub archive