Join the Living Economies Educational Trust for three days of learning, sharing and exploration of topics with lots of relevance to all:

  • Decolonising our economy
  • Access to land
  • Finance that works for communities, not against them
  • Tools for local and regional revitalisation

We'll be talking about subjects including community currencies, timebanking, cohousing and cooperative living structures, no-interest community finance, and how these solutions can help people and businesses deal with economic uncertainty.

Public Sessions

Friday 7 May, Carterton Events Centre

1:00 - 2:45 Amber Craig (Tahetoka): About how we might return to a life giving to Papatūānuku

3:00 - 5:00 Jo Pearsall and Bryan Innes: Access to land for housing and other purposes

Saturday 8 May, Carterton Events Centre

9:00 - 10:30 LE Trustees: Doughnut economics and designing for resilience

10:45 - 12:00 Raihānia Tipoki: Decolonising Aotearoa's economy

1:00 - 1:45 Carterton currency project overview, Q&A

1:45 - 2:45 Anneleise Hall: Common Good and Mutual Aid Network

3:00 - 3:45 Thamina Anwar: Islamic social entrepreneurship, Q&A

4:00 - 5:00 Open Space

Informal Sessions

Friday morning, Carterton Holiday Park

Sunday morning, Carterton Holiday Park

Online registration

LE Book Shop

Our volunteer-managed bookshop is our primary source of funding, and it is also one way the Trust provides information on a wide range of topics including:

  • How our money system works
  • Complementary currency systems
  • Grassroots responses to interconnected economic, social, and ecological challenges
  • Building a just and equitable society that respects our planet and all who inhabit it
  • Energy, climate issues, systems change, permaculture, organic gardening ... and more!

Margaret Jefferies MNZM

27 December 1944 - 13 January 2020

Remembered with love by her many friends.

Respected and celebrated by many as a visionary for vibrant sustainable community and unlimited possibility.

An inspirational community leader has died in Lyttelton.

Aged 75 years, Margaret was no ordinary grandmother. Respected and celebrated by many as a visionary for vibrant, sustainable community and unlimited possibility, Margaret was a networker supreme.

Living Economies will know her for the person who brought timebanking to New Zealand and showed other communities how it could be done as the Chair of community group Project Lyttelton.

She saw opportunity wherever it emerged and labelled it with a capital O.

Give her a disused building, an unused talent, or even a devastating earthquake and she relished the challenge. Give her a community problem – she loved it. She then used her unique combination of intellect, common sense, and people skills to work out how it could be a win-win for all parties.

For example Margaret wanted to start a local news publication to start seeding the idea of the time bank. When she discovered the Akaroa Mail owners were distressed that their local deliverers were not doing the job properly in Lyttelton, she invited time bank members to do it for hours, Akaroa Mail paid cash which helped fund the early growth of the Time Bank and the other part of the deal was that Project Lyttelton would get an independent regular insert in the weekly Akaroa Mail to share local stories and ideas.

She grabbed each big problem as a possibility for new community action and then committed herself 100% to this new goal. Her legacy will live on because she inspired so many to do the same.

She stimulated creativity around her and inspired everyone who met her. But Margaret didn't do everything herself. She listened carefully to others with ideas and then said, "It sounds like a goer to me. Bring me your champion and I will support that person fully."

Her secret was an ability to listen, to see a good possibility and then to challenge others. Her talent was in forming and maintaining good personal relationships, the key to successful organisations and results. She had the X-factor. She said, "Yes, I will make sure that happens" and then achieved it. Undaunted in the face of disappointment and adverse circumstances, she somehow saw her projects through. An example was the spectacularly successful Living Economies Expo in 2017 in Lyttelton.

She also was not afraid to let things go if it became evident that the timing or energy was not quite right.

Margaret prided herself in being practical. Although very intelligent and a former teacher with an M.A, she didn't want to be involved in too much theory – that was for others. She held the centre, managed the vision and didn't want to be bothered with details or academic distractions. But give her a concept with a possibility for community action and she was all in: let's go for it!

She had the good judgement to know who to trust that their recommendations would work. But she never dodged an opportunity to speak frankly when it could be uncomfortable. She could not just nudge you but give you a sharp jab in the ribs. When she told you off there was no doubt in your mind at all. And it worked.

Through her many achievements and impressive list of celebrity connections, she came across as unassuming and never talked about her own accomplishments. She always gave the credit to others even though she clearly acted as the catalyst. She was totally at home with herself and profoundly human.

Many of her biggest ideas came from international connections. For those who knew her and her interest in Spirit at Work she had a thirst for sparking ideas for ground-breaking activities. When she found out about a Science and Spirituality workshop in Vancouver Island in 2018 or a Time Banking event at Bard College in New York in 2004, she raised heaven and earth to get there and she went. Inevitably she made contacts with global leaders and came home with ideas for action, most recently starting a Power of Eight Intention group.

While Margaret has now left us the ripples from her work and the people she has connected will long continue.

Margaret’s significant contribution to our communities was recognised in the 2018 Honours List where she was awarded the MNZM.

A celebration of Margaret’s life was held with family friends and community in Lyttelton on Saturday January 18, 2020.

From the people of Project Lyttelton: In honour of Margaret’s memory, we invite people to do a small act with great love, for others or for our Earth.

Margaret’s family invite people to share with them memories or stories about her. Please send these to office@lyttelton.net.nz

Solutions: Economic Tools for Community Well-Being


The problem

In our global financial system, "normal" money (such as New Zealand Dollars) is created as interest-bearing debt. This exacerbates inequality, weakens community ties, and destroys the planet.



TimeBank members earn hours of credits by providing services and spend credits by receiving help from others.



Local Exchange Trading Systems are membership-based mutual credit system, where trades are made using points rather than money.


Local money

Local money--also known as local currency or complementary currency--is a way to promote local trade through a non-dollar alternative.


Savings pools

Also known as the genuine wealth system, savings pools are informal private groups where members support each other through interest-free savings and loans.



Co-operatives are businesses that are owned and run by and for members, using democratic processes to give all members a say.


Social enterprise

Social enterprises use a commercial model for the primary purpose of having a positive social and/or environmental impact.

Go Local


Local first

Supporting your local economy can have many advantages.


Local food

Local food increases community self-reliance, and there are often ecological and health benefits, too.

News articles

Press Release - Treasury Should Sell Interest Free Bonds To Reserve Bank

16 Apr 2020, 12:50

Read More

In Memoriam - Bernard Leitaer

12 Mar 2019, 13:16

Read More


Living the Change

18 Mar 2018, 12:17

Happen Films' newest full-length documentary features Living Economies Trustees Phil Stevens and…

Read More


LE Expo

2 Apr 2017, 12:17

Living Economies three-day Expo has been a great success.

Read More

Living Economies Educational Trust (LE) promotes exchange systems and investment models that build community strength and well-being, offer interest-free alternatives to 'business as usual', and respect both people and our living planet. Our network of volunteers can recommend resources and provide educational support for community initiatives. LE (CC 38114) is a registered educational charity, and we do not provide financial or legal advice.

© 2018 Living Economies