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.

What is LOAVES 2.0?

As of 1 April 2018, LEAP is implementing changes to LOAVES based on learning from our first, two-year pilot. 

For most LOAVES users, nothing will change--except that the list of businesses that accept LOAVES is in a process of flux as businesses consider the new model. All the businesses listed on this page have confirmed their willingness to participate in LOAVES 2.0.

Business owners can find more below on how they can use LOAVES during our second pilot.

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 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 LEAP at the Ashhurst Community Market to purchase LOAVES.
  • Contact us at to arrange your purchases of LOAVES.

If you are a business ...

Contact us at 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, in The Village Voice, 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 LOAVES businesses to get in touch with us. By accepting LOAVES and advertising that you do so, you are also giving a gift to others in the community who share your commitment to strong local connections.

The fine print

In the now-finished pilot version of LOAVES (April 2016-March 2018), LEAP made a commitment to redeem LOAVES from any Ashhurst and Pohangina businesses for NZD at a rate of 1 NZD = 1 LOAVES. This has changed. The first pilot allowed us to identify those businesses where LOAVES accumulate most readily. We are continuing to work closely with these "keystone" businesses, and to redeem LOAVES when necessary, to ensure the initiative serves their interest.

Other businesses are now accepting LOAVES knowing that they can spend LOAVES at these core businesses and with each other. This approach strengthens local self-reliance by helping LOAVES stay in circulation. We encourage all businesses to get in touch if they need support to make LOAVES work for them, and we have no desire to put any local business at risk. This is a cooperative, volunteer-run, and not-for-profit initiative. We are continuing to keep 1 NZD in the bank for every 1 LOAVES in circulation.

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 LOAVES redemption policy was last reviewed by the LEAP board in February 2018.