Local employment ... social well-being ... sustainable economy ... self-reliant trading ... community resilience. These are the goals that motivate people around the world to establish and nurture alternative currencies and mutual credit systems in their own communities.
A complementary currency built upon the right values has the potential to touch us in the most wonderful ways as a community and draw us together. H.A.N.D.S. (How About Non Dollar System) is very strong here in Golden Bay, at the top of the South Island, New Zealand, with a network of hundreds of people representing a fascinating array of skills and services. One of the core values of H.A.N.D.S. is 'strengthening community' and that very much trickles through into HANDS trade. Thanks to 20+ years of persistent work and attention to detail, H.A.N.D.S. is a marvelous example of an independent currency that works alongside the kiwi dollar. We invite you to take the knowledge and inspiration contained in this book back to your own community.
The 48 pieces by 24 local authors in this 130-page book range from poetry and profiles to commentaries, interviews, a skit and frequently asked questions, and contain, as a whole, information to help anyone better understand and utilise a complementary currency and that community groups anywhere would need to start their own. The text is accompanied by nearly 50 photos and graphics. An appendix contains all the core documents H.A.N.D.S. has developed over the years, such as our brochure and member agreement, for use as templates by community groups wanting to get started with local financial self-reliance.
Get A Handle on H.A.N.D.S. questions conventional concepts of value, economics, money and exchange, and shows how Golden Bay's experiences using an alternative currency have enriched us and our community.