Society for the Local Economy of Ashhurst & Pohangina

LOAVES: A local, complementary currency

What is a complementary currency?

Currencies such as LOAVES are called "complementary" because they are meant to complement, or work alongside (rather than replace) legal tender such as New Zealand Dollars. People choose to use complementary currencies because they are designed differently than legal tender (they're used voluntarily, for example) and, depending on their design, they will circulate in ways that are different than mainstream currencies, serving different purposes. LOAVES, for example, is designed to circulate within our local area, highlighting and supporting our local village and valley economy.

Why use LOAVES?

Local currencies such as LOAVES offer the following benefits:

  • They promote community connection.
  • They encourage neighbourly support and local self-reliance.
  • They strengthen community identity and pride.
  • They increase the visibility of local businesses, including small and home-based businesses.
  • They are proven in many communities to benefit those who are disadvantaged in our dollar economy.
  • They reduce transport miles and create a market for low-footprint goods.

Using LOAVES can help you and your neighbours within Ashhurst and the Pohangina Valley.

How do I use LOAVES?

In effect, LOAVES acts like a multi-business voucher (like a mall voucher) that favours locally-owned businesses and community. LOAVES vouchers are designed to circulate many times, not just once, to multiply their benefits.

If you are a business ...

Contact us at info@loaves.org.nz for more information on how to make LOAVES work for you and for our whole community. If you'd like to accept LOAVES, we'll provide flyers you can display, we'll advertise your acceptance of LOAVES on our web site and in our next print business directory, and we'll share some ideas for using LOAVES.

While anyone can accept LOAVES voluntarily, we do encourage businesses to get in touch with us first, to come to an advance agreement with LEAP about buying-back LOAVES for New Zealand Dollars (see "the fine print" below). By accepting LOAVES and advertising you do so, you are also giving a gift to others in the community who share your commitment to strong local connections.

If you would like to make purchases with LOAVES or give a friend a LOAVES "buy-local voucher" ...

  • Make purchases at businesses that accept LOAVES, and ask for them to give you your change or cash out in LOAVES instead of NZD!
  • Visit the LEAP info stall or the local growers' co-operative at the Ashhurst Community Market to purchase LOAVES.
  • Contact us at info@leap.org.nz to arrange your purchases of LOAVES.

The fine print: LEAP policy on redeeming LOAVES for NZD

The LEAP board is committed to redeeming LOAVES at a rate of 1 NZD = 1 LOAVES. Sufficient NZD are kept in the bank to cover all LOAVES in circulation. Terms and conditions apply:

  • This agreement is with select business who are advertising with LEAP that they accept LOAVES.
  • Anyone can accept LOAVES if they choose, but LEAP reserves the right to redeem LOAVES for NZD only from those local businesses who have agreed to the initiative. This is how we keep LOAVES local.
  • There may be a nominal exchange fee charged on a per exchange basis. The standard fee is 5 LOAVES per exchange. This may be waived in accord with other agreements.
  • As LEAP relies on volunteers, businesses should be aware that exchanges will need to take place at an agreed time and place, generally in Ashhurst. Businesses should plan ahead and give LEAP notice of the need to make an exchange.
  • Exchanges will generally be available on a quarterly basis, at the end of March, June, September, and December.
  • LEAP reserves the right to change the terms of LOAVES circulation, provided that (1) they make a good faith effort, a minimum of one month in advance, to contact all businesses advertising LOAVES acceptance with LEAP, (2) offer businesses the opportunity to revoke their acceptance of LOAVES, AND (3) offer to exchange all LOAVES for NZD in a 1:1 ratio, without fee unless previously agreed (e.g, as per above).

The aim of the above terms of agreement is to protect LEAP and the collective of businesses accepting LOAVES, for the success of local businesses. We encourage businesses to communicate their needs to the LEAP board and LOAVES team,
We will consider relaxing these terms on a case-by-case basis where that is in keeping with collective aims.

Businesses accepting LOAVES are advised to handle them as cash, and to account for them (and to pay tax and GST) in the same way they would do when handling New Zealand Dollars.

This statement of the LOAVES redemption policy was last reviewed and reaffirmed by the LEAP board on 30 August 2017.


  • LOAVES businesses

  • Cartwheel Creamery
  • Carolann Wedding Collections
  • Edible Gardens
  • Ellicott's Fudgery
  • Helen King, Grants Advisor & Educator
  • Kereru Natural Products
  • LEAP
  • Payton & Me
  • Phoenix Adviser Group Ltd.
  • RECAP
  • Riverside Orchard
  • Sheree's Sewing Repairs
  • Slow Farm
  • Valley View Consulting
  • Wordly Press
  • last updated 29 August 2017