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Taranaki TimeBank: What is it?
Taranaki TimeBank is a group of people who support each other by sharing services, skills, talents and knowledge. By both giving and receiving, we appreciate the value of every member and experience the value of our own contributions. We recognise that we all have needs as well as gifts to share.
TimeBank: What is the Philosophy?
Everyone’s Time is Valued Equally
In the “caring economy” of the time bank, everyone’s time is valued equally. Time credits aren’t meant to replace standard dollars. They are designed to counterbalance the market economy where almost everything is measured in money terms. Time banks build relationships because it assumes that everyone is an asset to the community. Everyone has skills that are valuable and all are valued equally.
Taranaki TimeBank: What are the Benefits?
Joining a time bank has individual, as well has community benefits. By building relationships of trust, caring and reciprocity we:
Get to know our neighbours, support and care for one another, affirm one another’s time and talents, find people with common interests, share what we know and learn new skills, promote equality and social justice, become enriched in non-material ways.
5 Core Values of TimeBanking
- Assets: We are all assets. We all have something to give.
- Redefining Work: Some work is beyond price. Work has to be redefined to value whatever it takes to raise healthy children, build strong families, revitalize neighborhoods, make democracy work, advance social justice, make the planet sustainable. That kind of work needs to be honored, recorded and rewarded.
- Reciprocity: Helping works better as a two-way street.
The question: “How can I help you?” needs to change so we ask: “How can we help each other - to build a world we both want to live in?”
- Social Networks: We need each other. Networks are stronger than individuals. People helping each other reweave communities of support, strength & trust. Community is built upon sinking roots, building trust, creating networks. Special relationships are built on commitment.
- Respect: Every human being matters. Respect underlies freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and everything we value. Respect supplies the heart and soul of democracy. When respect is denied to anyone, we all are injured. We must respect where people are in the moment, not where we hope they will be at some future point.
Members' Rights and Responsibilities
Every member of Taranaki TimeBank has the right to:
- Earn one time credit for every hour of service provided
- Spend time credits on services offered by other members
- Save time credits in a personal account for later use
- Donate time credits to other members or the Community Chest
- Have privacy and confidentiality maintained
- Be treated with dignity, care and respect
- Be valued and treated fairly
Every member of Taranaki TimeBank has the responsibility to:
- Be reliable and keep scheduled commitments
- Be accepting of guidance and instructions
- Have fun and share your experiences!
Taranaki TimeBank Code of Conduct:
- Prior to accepting a service, I will respectfully ascertain the competence of the member providing it to deliver the service to my satisfaction.
- I will discuss proposed transactions beforehand with my exchange partner to clarify and agree on details, particularly the reimbursement of any expenses.
- I will respect my exchange partner's privacy and confidentiality.
- I will respect my exchange partner's home and property.
- I will respond promptly to all offers and requests made to me.
- I will keep my profile and trading account up to date.
- I will inform a coordinator of any problems or concerns that I consider may affect the positive operation of our TimeBank or the safety of members.
All people applying to join Taranaki TimeBank are required to meet with a coordinator and have an orientation.
Members are required to understand and agree in writing to Taranaki TimeBank Terms and Code of Conduct. A member may be excluded for breaching of the terms and code.
Taranaki TimeBank members shall not discriminate against each other on the grounds of race, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation, or religious or cultural beliefs.
Taranaki Timebank cannot guarantee the performance of anyone, nor will Taranaki TimeBank or its staff or members be held responsible for any injury to persons or damage to property experienced while involved with the transaction. It is therefore recommended that members use the same caution they would normally do when engaging a service provider.
Problem Reporting and Resolution
Should a member have concern about any problems arising during a trade or at a Taranaki TimeBank event, s/he should promptly raise it with the coordinator or a member of the steering committee. The member will be kept informed of the steps taken to resolve the issue.
Privacy & Confidentiality
All members must protect the privacy and confidentiality of other members. A member can be dismissed from Taranaki TimeBank for breaching this rule. The only exception for sharing information is when a member feels that the health and/or safety of another member are in danger, in which case they should contact the coordinator or in the case of an emergency take appropriate action.
Taranaki TimeBank coordinators and management are likewise committed to respecting the privacy and confidentiality of members. They also shall ensure that records of members’ personal information, either electronic or hard copy, are kept secure.
Offers of Service associated with my Business
It is a Taranaki TimeBank policy that all offers associated with a members for-profit business include with their offer this disclosure statement:
This is an offer for TimeBank hours that carries no expectation or obligation for follow-up treatments or paid services. Members interested in further treatments or sessions, can make arrangements with the provider outside of TimeBank trades.
If the recipient feels pressured, at any point, to take up paid services, they are to contact the main coordinator immediately.
If a service provider wants reimbursement for expenses or supplies, that must be clearly communicated in the offer, and agreed upon, BEFOREHAND.
Health & Safety
To keep one another safe, Taranaki TimeBank will exercise reasonable care in relation to the members and their activities in the community. That means doing what a reasonable, prudent person would do in a similar situation.
Taranaki TimeBank members are required to take similar responsibility for each other’s health and safety during trades and at time-bank events.
Any health and safety incidents or accidents must be reported to the coordinator and medical assistance sought when necessary.
Internet & Social Media
Full online access to Taranaki TimeBank member profiles and TimeBank participation is available to those who have successfully completed the application process.
Members are requested to: Keep their personal information and service requests and offers up-to-date. Respond to emails or phone calls promptly. Record exchanges. Members are also urged to report any problems with using the website to the coordinator or website administrator.
Taranaki TimeBank may use images of members, with their consent, on the group’s Facebook page. Members may not promote commercial activity or political views on Taranaki TimeBank website or Facebook page.
How is Taranaki TimeBank run?
Taranaki TimeBank is a non-profit community organisation run by a committed team of volunteers. The committee appoints one or more coordinators. These are paid positions with community-sourced funding.
Membership: Getting Started
Becoming a TimeBank member is a simple, two-step process. First make an application online, then attend an orientation meeting. Here you will learn more about time banking history and the philosophy, while getting to meet other new members and learn how to use the database. Applying:
- Go to the Taranaki TimeBank website to make your application online www.taranakitimebank.nz
- Contact the Taranaki TimeBank coordinator in your area via email or phone:
New Plymouth: Laurie at - email@example.com
Hawera: Patina at - firstname.lastname@example.org
Waverley/Pātea: Jo at - email@example.com
Inglewood: Moira at - firstname.lastname@example.org
Waitara: Karen at - email@example.com
- Meet with the coordinator at a location and time convenient to you both. The coordinator will take about an hour to explain the processes and procedures of time banking, and demonstrate how to use the Taranaki TimeBank website. If you don’t use a computer, you can still become a member.
- You will need to fill in an application with your contact details and sign the Code of Conduct and Agreement of Understanding and Non-Liability.
- The coordinator will guide you on how to complete your online account, which includes writing your profile, your ‘TimeBankers’ Talents’ listing, and posting offers and requests. (You can update these afterwards at any time).
- You are eligible for a one-hour time credit for attending orientation. The coordinator will help you do this online so you know how to record an exchange.
- You are now all set to start trading!
Posting an Offer or Request
Once you become a member, it’s a good idea to offer or request a service as soon as possible. You don’t have to have time credits to make a request. If everyone waits to be asked, no exchanges will happen. Similarly, if everyone tries to maintain a positive time-credit balance, the level of activity will be low. For the time bank to function well, some of us will have positive balances and some of us will have negative balances.
The coordinator sends out weekly email broadcasts announcing new offers and requests, and coming events. The website also shows you which members have recently joined. If you are on Facebook, sign up to our Taranaki TimeBank group page.
Making An Exchange
One hour of service earns one time credit and one time credit buys one hour of service. Time can be put through in 15-minute increments, though we encourage you to round them up to the hour. You need to agree on the exact amount of time to put through with the person you are trading with.
When you have completed an exchange, decide who will record the hours, (and don’t be reluctant to follow up if your trading partner said they’d to do it but forgot!). Most members do this online, by selecting “Record An Exchange” on the menu. If you strike a problem or don’t have a computer, ask the coordinator to do this for you.
The time bank is all about sharing time and this is what you are banking. However sometimes there may be a monetary cost involved, for example:
- Transportation – you are providing transport, perhaps to the airport, a medical appointment or grocery shopping. There will be a fuel expense.
- Baking/Cooking – you are baking /cooking for a member. There will be an expense for ingredients.
- Craft-making - you are crafting an item for another member, such as knitting a pair of gloves or building a bookcase.
You should charge for the hours it takes to produce something in time credits and charge the cost of the materials in regular dollars.
For trades that involve expenses, we encourage you to discuss and agree to these with the member you are trading with, prior to the trade happening.
Sometimes members will get together to work in pairs or teams, say at a working bee or at a time bank community event. In this instance, it’s better to get the coordinator or person organising the event to credit your hours into your account. Make sure you keep an accurate record of your time and let them know.
Getting to Know Each Other
- Review the profiles of other members online.
- Attend Taranaki TimeBank events. Doing so will help you find potential trading partners, and also make friends and welcome new members to our community.
- Carpooling to events is a great way to get to know each other, and saves money. The coordinator can help arrange this.
- You can also check online, using the neighbourhood search function, to see which members are in your area, or ask the coordinator. You might like to organise a potluck with other members to strengthen your local time-bank group.
Note: Please spread the word among your family, friends and organisations you belong to about the benefits of Taranaki Timebank. As Timebank membership grows, so too will the abundance of services we can offer each other and the wider community.
Problems and Complaints
If an exchange that you are involved in doesn’t meet your expectations, it is time banking practice to appreciate each other’s best efforts nevertheless. However, if you have a more serious concern, be guided by the Code of Conduct above and alert the Taranaki TimeBank Main coordinator.
Note: If you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in any situation, please take steps to leave or avoid that situation and advise the Taranaki TimeBank Main coordinator as soon as possible.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What if I go into debt?
It’s just time…TimeBank is based on reciprocity – giving and receiving are basic human needs that help build relationships and trust within communities. Going into “debt” carries no penalty but rather is considered a promise to give back when the opportunity arises. We recognise that there will always be participants who will earn more time credits than others. The option is given for them to donate some of their credits to fellow members or to our Community Chest or “top up” other accounts.
You can always talk to the TTB Main coordinator about ways of earning credits if you are concerned.
Are time credits classed as an income for tax purposes?
In 2017 an Inland Revenue spokesperson said that time-banking is effectively a more sophisticated form of bartering, known as counter trading and is therefore not considered 'income' in all cases.
Likewise, members cannot use time credits to buy goods, as in a business transaction. If an exchange requires materials to be purchased, these must be paid for in cash not credits.
For example, if a member takes two hours to knit a scarf using $10 worth of wool, they should be paid two time credits and $10 cash.
Note: It’s ok to offer produce you’ve grown if you attach a time value to that activity – e.g., the
time spent picking, cleaning and packing a box of veggies from your garden.
What if I don’t have time for volunteering?
Then you really need TimeBank! Many of the services people exchange are the types of things they enjoy or are already doing every day. You can do something you enjoy for yourself and for someone else at the same time (cook a meal, walk a dog, drive to the airport). You may have jobs that would get done twice as fast and with more enjoyment with a few extra hands. Working bees are great ways to do that.
Can we join as a couple or as a family?
Yes you can. The choice is yours. You can join as a couple or a family. It might be that later on you decide to have separate member accounts. Time credits are easily transferable throughout the system later.
How can I trust other members?
When trading with another TimeBank member, it is up to you to take personal responsibility for your well-being just as in any transaction with somebody you don’t know, e.g., using a new tradesperson or Trade Me. Use your best judgement and contact your coordinator if you have any concerns or questions.
What if I don’t use a computer?
Members without a computer are given a Guardian Angel, who will post offers or requests, record exchanges and keep you ‘in the loop’ with events and happenings.
What should I do before I trade?
If you are having someone come and do work for you, make sure you give them all the information they need to get the job done the way you want. It is your responsibility to ensure they have materials/equipment they need to do the job, and that it can be done safely. You may also need to negotiate how any costs associated with a trade can be met.
What if I trade with more than one person at a time?
Every person who does the work is a 'provider of service' who receives one time-credit from the 'recipient of service' for every hour worked.
How to Log Hours for Workshops
If you teach a group of people a skill, then every student (recipient) pays one time credit per hour into the community chest. The teacher (provider) will also earn one time credit per hour spent teaching the group, plus additional credits for their preparation time, taken from the community chest. If in doubt, ask the coordinator to put through the hours if. The teacher can ask students to cover any costs incurred; e.g., art materials for an art class, or petrol for travel, provided this is clear in advance.
How do Taranaki TimeBank working bees work?
Working bees are a traditional community activity that we love to promote through TimeBank. They are a wonderful way to get a lot of hard work done in a short time frame, and a great opportunity to socialise with other members. You can also pick up new ideas and skills by attending a working bee.
If you would like to organise a working bee through Taranaki TimeBank, contact the coordinator. They will post your request in the weekly email broadcast and on our Facebook page. On the day, it is considerate to offer refreshments to your helpers – you can always use time credits to pay other members to help with baking for the occasion.
Members who participate in working bees for other Taranaki TimeBank member organisations can earn time credits from our Community Chest.
What is the Community Chest?
This is a pool of donated time credits to be used by those members who are unable to earn time credits due to illness or disability, or for community projects. It also can be used for donations of time credits by time bank members who do not wish to accumulate extra time credits in their own account.
Can tools be traded?
For any trades associated with loaning tools or equipment you can claim one hour, regardless of the time the tool is loaned out for. Why is this? Because you are not actually giving of your time, you are loaning a tool.
If there are any expenses involved in the loaning of tools, these should be agreed between the members before the trade takes place. If the borrower happens to damage the tool, they should cover the cost of repair or replacement.
What if I want to offer a service in a particular area?
Given the expansive nature of the Taranaki district, it may be that you want to offer or receive a service in a particular area. In this case put the location in your ad’s service title, e.g., Inglewood: horse riding lesson or Hawera: garden maintenance. If there is significant travel involved to complete a trade, any reimbursement for petrol must be agreed upon before the trade taking place.
How can my organisation, community group or school become involved?
Any community group, organisation or school can become an Organisation Member of Taranaki TimeBank. Organisations join for a variety of reasons: to acknowledge volunteers (with time credits) for their services; to access the people and networks of TimeBank; to collaborate on community events and initiatives, and to become more connected to the wider community.
How does TimeBank work for organisations?
Organisations may earn time credits by letting out their rooms, providing manpower for an event, running a workshop, providing transport or equipment etc. They might spend time credits on having someone from TimeBank run a class for their group, rewarding any volunteers who are also TimeBank members, or by having member do some property maintenance or baking for an event.
Sometimes time credits can be donated to a group from other members or gifted from the Community Chest (at the discretion of Taranaki TimeBank).