H.A.N.D.S. - local economy: Golden Bay's HANDy Little Complementary Currency
Golden Bay's HANDy Little Complementary CurrencyStrengthening the Community
November 29th, 2009
by Charlotte Squire
Charlotte owns and writes for New Zealand's good-news website www.happyzine.co.nz
Ahhh, life in Golden Bay. Their complementary currency - HANDS - is all about strengthening community. It's way cool. If there's one Golden Bay experience I highly recommend, it's their quarterly HANDS market, where people are paid to have stalls, just to encourage the coming together of members. At these markets, one feels included, and that's a very special and important feeling for us humans to experience.
Currently, HANDS members represent eight percent of the Golden Bay population. Last I heard this was the largest 'green dollar' system in New Zealand (in terms of percentage of population). They traded over seventy-five thousand HANDS in the past year.
There's so much more to HANDS than you'd think. I'm no money system guru, and to many this subject probably seems quite dry and boring (as it did to me initially), but the more I find out about this system, the more I fall in love with it. Every detail is very carefully implemented, from the beautiful words and images on their paper HAND notes, to their hilarious HANDshake. They even have a HANDy messenger – her job is to facilitate and assist with HANDS transactions. I think it's worth living in Golden Bay just to experience it, and then take the ideas back to your own community where you could mould them to fit.
Another interesting thing I've personally noticed about HANDS is that my emotional attachment to HANDS is totally different than the way I approach money. When I'm trading in HANDS I feel far more relaxed and easy then I do with money. Sometimes I play around with pretending money is HANDS, it works quite well! If I'm negotiating money payment and I remember how relaxed and open I feel with HANDS (which are roughly the equivelent of one New Zealand dollar) my monetary transactions are much more enjoyable and lucrative. If you're in Golden Bay and there's a market on, check it out, you'll be inspired (and welcomed).
We're here, too: http://happyzine.co.nz/
- MACKENZIE COUNTRY TALK AT GB COMMUNITY CENTRE, 7:30 PM, 8 FEB. (Conservation)
- Where Does the Energy Go? (Sustainable Housing)
- Self-reliance versus sustainability