Residents urged to trade time rather than money

Oamaru residents, organisations and businesses are being urged to revert to the barter system and trade with their time rather than their money.

Following in the footsteps of the Project Lyttelton timebanking project, the Transition Oamaru and Waitaki District projects want to introduce a Timebank community in North Otago.

Transition Oamaru and Waitaki District co-chairwoman Nathalie Brown said representatives from the Lyttelton project would outline the mechanics of the system, which allows members to share their skills with other members either directly, or in return for credits, at a Camp Iona seminar on January 26.

''Timebanking is a way of trading skills in a community. It uses time, rather than money, as a bartering tool.

''There are about 25 timebanks around New Zealand and we are delighted to be able to offer this service to the community as part of the Transition Oamaru activities.''

Ms Brown said the system would be introduced at a seminar to be held at the end of the Transition Oamaru and Waitaki District summer school, which would run from January 12 to January 27.

She was particularly keen to attract people who had the IT skills to run the system in return for timebank credits, she said.

Project Lyttelton chairwoman Margaret Jefferies said the Lyttelton timebank, which started about seven years ago, had more than 450 members.

Ms Jefferies said although timebanking was similar to the barter system, it was also open to organisations.

''It is a way of bartering, but it is a bit more than that, because you can have organisations belonging. So schools can belong, medical centres can belong. It's more than just individual to individual.''

- andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz