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Celebrating ten years of timebanking

On the morning of Saturday 14th September at Anō Anō! (next door to the EcoCentre) about 30 people gathered to celebrate and look back on a decade of timebanking in Kaitāia.

In 2009 Kaitāia TimeBank was set up by Rebecca Ranum and members of Transition Towns Kaitāia after she and John Kenderdine got inspired by a presentation by the Lyttleton Timebank at a Living Economies hui they attended in Whanganui.

We heard from John and Rebecca about the thinking behind timebanking, and the philosophy of it’s original founder Edgar Kahn and his book ‘No More Throwaway People’. Coordinators past and present also contributed kōrero along with other timebankers.

The activity levels of Kaitāia TimeBank fluctuated over the years, depending on how much volunteer energy there was to keep things going. Thanks to funding from the Lottery Grants Board and the LW Nelson Trust starting about 18 months ago, Kaitāia TimeBank grew hugely and became way more successful. So much so that we were approached by Far North, and Whangaroa Timebanks asking to merge with us to create Tai Tokerau Timebank, a process which we’ve just completed. We were able to share our new logo at the event. It was created for us by Israel Thomas based on a combination of the joint winning designs in the logo competition, Serena Dempsey having been the other winner.

Of course it wouldn’t be a birthday without a cake, pictured here being cut by our founder Rebecca, current membership coordinator Paula Walker, and our newest member Adam O’Dea, whose membership was approved that day!

We were also able to share the exciting news at the event that thanks to additional support from the Bay of Islands-Whangaroa Community Board we now have two new paid part-time members of the coordination team as of this week. So now we have membership coordinators Paula Walker for Te Hiku, Charlotte Boss for Bay of Islands-Whangaroa, and Di Maxwell holding the fort for Kaikohe-Hokianga on a couple of hour a week whilst we secure further funding for that post. Anna Dunford will be acting as regional coordinator.

We’re hoping having dedicated coordinators will enable the other areas of Tai Tokerau Timebank to take off the same way as it has around Kaitāia and the surrounding area.

So what is timebanking?

Timebanking is a way to network within communities, sharing skills and services, without exchanging money. Timebanks create and promote well-being, helping communities flourish and thrive. Vibrant, interconnected communities have healthy, supported members within them. Timebanking builds on the magic of paying it forward. Timecredits are used as payment, instead of money. You earn Timecredits for the work done, and use those credits to ‘buy’ any other member’s time to get the services you need. It doesn’t matter if you spend timecredits before you earn them! There is a web based system to keep track of offers, requests and our ‘currency’ of timecredits.

Everyone’s time is equal – no matter what type of work is undertaken, one hour always equals one time credit. Every person and skill is equally valued – we all have something to offer. Everyone is seen as an asset.

Lyttelton TimeBank was New Zealand’s first Timebank. Other Timebanks are now scattered around the country from the Far North to Invercargill.

To sign up for Tai Tokerau Timebank go to and click on ‘join’, you can also follow us on Facebook.

by Anna Dunford

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