Developing Local Partners in Emergency Planning and Management: Lyttleton Time Bank as a Builder and Mobiliser of Resources during the Canterbury Earthquakes
This research examines a surprising partner in emergency management - a local community time bank. Specifically, we explain the role of the Lyttelton Time Bank in promoting community resiliency following the Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. A time bank is a grassroots exchange system in which members trade services non-reciprocally. This exchange model assumes that everyone has tradable skills and all labour is equal in value. One hour of any labour earns a member one time bank hour, which can be used to purchase another member’s services. Before the earthquakes struck, the Lyttelton Time Bank (TB) had organised over 10% of the town’s residents and 18 local organisations. It was documenting, developing, and mobilising skills to solve individual and collective problems. This report examines the Lyttelton Time Bank and its’ role before, during, and after the earthquakes based on the analysis of over three and a half years of fieldwork, observations, interviews, focus groups, trading activity, and secondary data.