Mahurangi Exchange


The Mahurangi Exchange is based upon the Common Law principle that a contract by a living man or woman can only be made with another living man or woman. It also invokes the ability for two living beings to make an agreement and seal that without a written contract.

In days past, at least in my living memory, there was such a thing as an agreement made and sealed by a handshake. In times long past there were other means of sealing the agreement, one of which was the giving of one’s sandal as a witness to a contract.

This is recorded in the records of many Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cultures and is a practice that goes back thousands of years. That shows that man is capable of living life and conducting business on the basis of the integrity of his or her word alone.

There have been several attempts to create a barter currency and linking it to a Fiat currency of some kind, or to a precious metal. In these systems people ‘buy’ barter tokens of some kind which gives the token a real value. This is an attempt to create a competing form of currency over that which is the national or international accepted currency issued by Corporate law governments .

This approach is fraught with difficulties such as, secure storage of the funds or value items used to acquire tokens, honesty of the people in charge of the storage of the traded value item (currency or precious metals) and not the least legal liability for the issuing body (corporate law). If an alternative currency is value driven one can expect legal challenges from the Corporate world since creating an alternative currency is illegal in most countries (illegal but not unlawful).

The Mahurangi Exchange takes the position that the barter token or tokens has no inherent or intrinsic value. It is but a record or witness of an agreement between two living human beings to either provide items owned, or assistance needed by one, to another living human being.


The Tanakhim.

In Biblical times the simplest and cheapest sandal was known as the Tanakhim.
It was virtually worthless and discarded when worn out because one could buy a new pair very cheaply. So when an agreement to exchange some property or items was agreed the giving of a sandal was not an indicator of value but symbolic of the oath, by both parties, to honour the agreement.

Translating that into a Common Law Community simply means providing a mechanism by which an agreement between parties can be recognised by a symbolic exchange of tokens for items or assistance, those token can then be used by the recipient to witness another transaction with a different liveman.

The name ‘Tanakhim’ really describes the whole transaction but the name may be abbreviated by common usage. It could become known as a ‘tanak’, or ‘tana’, or ‘tan’ or ‘tanim’. We shall see what the community itself does with the name.

Physical Items.
The item exchanged will be witnessed by an agreed number of tokens where the Liveman providing the item will agree with the recipient to exchange a certain number of Tokens to represent the agreement made.

Practical Assistance.
In this case one party is desiring another party who has knowledge and expertise in a certain area to expend energy in the form of time to assist the recipient to achieve what they want to achieve by the agreement.

In this case the single Token is representative of the expenditure of energy for three minutes of time for an unskilled liveman, which therefor relates to twenty tokens an hour for unskilled time.

The energy being expended falls into one of the seven categories of skill, knowledge or expertise. A liveman may be a professional in his or her field but if the assistance he or she is undertaking is of a lower order the generally accepted witness for that order applies.

So, a liveman may rate his assistance at a certain level of skill or expertise and quote the appropriate number of tokens per hour to provide the energy.
Likewise, the recipient may determine the skill level and advertise the assistance required at a certain hourly number of tokens. If the providers and recipient come to different assessments for that number then they negotiate an number agreeable to both.

Creation of Tokens.

Tokens are printed on cards where the card represents a fixed number of tokens.

The cards will be produced solely under the authority of the Governor of the Mahurangi District, and the Mahurangi District Council will be the sole issuing authority for the cards.

The cards will be produced in five categories representative of a fixed number of tokens. That is one, five, ten, twenty and fifty.

Each card will have a unique number printed on it and the card hand embossed (if physically practical) with the Mahurangi District Council Seal.

The cards are business card size (5.5 cm x 9 cm) and printed on a thin flexible plasticised card which cannot be torn in half.

The images on the cards show a pair of sandals. It was thought the sandals represented the philosophy of the witness to an exchange.


Livemen wishing to participate in the exchange can request tokens by filling out a form, online or on paper, and pay a nominal amount of $45.00, which covers the cost of printing and embossing, for 500 tokens.

They will then be issued with five hundred tokens made up as follows

Single token card              50              50
Five token card                  30              150
Ten token card                   10              100
Twenty token card            10              200
Fifty token card                  0                0

1. Exchanges where the recipient has no tokens available.

In this case on completion of the exchange the receiver issues the liveman assisting or providing a written note signed by both parties (with a contact number for each party) stating the number of tokens given as a witness.

The provider then takes that note to the Mahurangi District Council who will record the transaction against the names of the parties involved, confirm the transaction by phone and issue actual tokens to the provider.

In the event a recipient accumulates 500 tokens that recipient will be sent a notification and requested to pay for the cost of printing of the tokens issued.

This means that the individual transactions are guaranteed by the District Council (subject to confirmation by both parties).

2. Assistance given to the Council.

The Council may advertise for suitably skilled and resourced livemen or companies to undertake some activities for the District Council, for example the repair of a footpath.

The Council engages a provider for an agreed number of tokens.
The provider completes the assignment and the Council approves it.
The Council then hands the provider the number of tokens that was agreed for the assignment. The provider divides the tokens up according to the skill level and hours worked of the livemen he had involved in the assignment, and keeps the balance for cost of materials, use of equipment.

This puts tokens into the community which will end up being distributed throughout the community.

It will be the case that both systems of exchange, the Token and the NZ$ will exist together. Council providers may be obliged to buy materials using NZ$.

The Council must provide for both eventualities by allowing providers to submit information in either Tokens or Dollars or both. This will also apply to the Tithe that businesses or individuals may pay, that could be in either Tokens or currency.

3. Community Contributions.

One thing that is under represented by the corporate financial system, or not represented at all, is the contribution people make to their community. Whilst mostly voluntary and driven by a desire of the heart there is no good reason why such effort should not be recognised.

Livemen who engage in community activities such as, home schooling children, looking after the sick or elderly, cleaning litter off the beach or roadside, or other community activities should be entitled to weekly issue of twenty tokens an hour for each verified hour of work.

In a large part we will be relying on the honesty of livemen to properly report what community assistance they have undertaken in the last week.


The estimated cost of printing is about $30 for each block of 500 tokens. At a charge of $45 per 500 this leaves $15 for accumulation against printing stocks of tokens or for circumstances where the fiat currency is required (e.g. bitumen for paving in the example).

To be a success we will need some local entrepreneurial endeavours to come on board and bring their tithe into the storehouse in accordance with the principles in The People’s Jurisdiction / Mana Hapu.

Author:         Alexander:  otf Knox.
Interim Governor
Mahurangi District.


In this document the word ‘liveman’ is used in place of the word ‘person’ because the legal definition of the word ‘person’ has negative implications for the living man or woman. (See Black’s Law Dictionary).
Liveman is the singular and livemen is the plural and is not gender specific.


Types of Labour.


1. Unskilled.

Unskilled livemen possess no particular skills and may be limited in level of education. The provision is normally manual labour of some form and relatively simple duties to perform. Livemen in this area are not normally asked to make judgement calls and have not received any specific related training apart from general use of tools and basic health and safety.

2. Semi-killed.

Semi-skilled livemen have had training and skill improvement but have not had any advanced or specialised skills. Livemen will have a high school diploma or some other higher education, but not a university degree. They may need to make judgement calls and may have supervisory status over unskilled livemen.

3. Skilled.

Skilled livemen will have had specialised training or have developed certain advanced skills. They will have a good comprehension of the trade or industry they are trained in. They are capable of exercising judgement and giving direction to providers and subordinates. They will most likely be university degree or trade certificate qualified or similar.

4. Journeyman.

A skilled liveman has had more than six years’ experience in the trade or industry and is now considered an expert in the discipline or has risen to management roles. This liveman may or may not be degree qualified or certified but has the equivalent of a degree by dint of the years of experience and accumulated knowledge.

5. Professional.

This is a liveman who has qualified with an advanced degree in the discipline they are engaged in and at least twelve years practical experience in that field, not including time spent in education.

6. Managerial

A liveman who has risen through levels four or five to management levels in their discipline or industry with responsibility for company or department wide operations.