May 5 1996
     As I was the major financial backer of the development of 
the Greendollar Local Employment Trading System (LETS) software 
back in 1984, I was invited by Maureen Mallinson, the publisher 
of the Greendollar Quarterly, to be a guest speaker at the New 
Zealand Greendollar National Meeting near Thames on the 
Coromandel peninsula on April 21 and April 23. My talk was to be 
on the wisdom of all governments using Greendollars to create 
large-scale national employment as successfully as local 
organizations were creating local employment.
     Greendollars are basically casino chips backed up with work 
and as an electrical engineer and professional gambler, I derived 
the equation for interest-free currency systems as Laplace 
transform = 1/s with interest-bearing ones as 1/(s-i). I had been 
politically promoting the use of interest-free monetary software 
since 1979 and in 1981, I was the only candidate running with a 
disk with a "Greenback" National Employment Trading System.  
     In 1984, I heard that Michael Linton had started up a 
Greendollar Local Employment Trading System (LETS) in Courtenay, 
B.C. and was looking for development funds. I checked that its 
Laplace Transform was also 1/s (interest-free) and saw the 
utility of a local level test model as a good way to help promote 
the national and international model and granted him $22,000.
     I wasn't sure I was going to be able to make the trip to New 
Zealand as I was being sentenced on March 31 for operating the 
largest private Poker and Blackjack casino in Canadian history 
but having been acquitted of the same charge in 1989 before 
expanding to 27 tables and 122 employees operating 24 hours a day 
and seven days a week, I was facing a maximum of 12 years in 
prison, two for keeping a gaming house and 10 for winning over a 
million dollars. Fortunately, as the police had dubbed the raid 
"Project Robin Hood" and I had spent most of it on more LETSystem 
promotion and development, the judge sentenced me to probation 
and community service and I was freed to make the trip. 
     In 1991, I had hosted Don Bethune, a monetary reformer and 
member of the Democratic Party of New Zealand on his North 
American speaking tour and he managed to get me a speaking 
engagement at the Democratic National meeting which was being 
held on the very same week-end. 
     My lady, Pauline, and I arrived on Friday morning. Ottawa to 
Toronto (1 hour) to Honolulu (10 hours) to Auckland (8 hours).  
We were struck by New Zealand's lush green mountainous landscape. 
We were met by Adrienne Vale, the co-ordinator of the Auckland 
LETS. She gave us a tour of Auckland and showed us their 
Greendollar store based in the unemployed people's center. We 
didn't get to meet Sue Bradford who originated the Auckland 
Greendollar system but more on her later. Then we rented a car 
and drove up to the conference site. 
     I would say that though New Zealanders drive on the wrong 
side of the road, I only found myself driving on the right side 
of the road twice during the whole trip with no jarring 
     What amazed me were the very large herds of cattle and sheep 
until I realized that their warm climate meant they didn't need 
any barns. It probably accounts for the very green pastures.
     At the Greendollar meeting were people from all over New 
Zealand including the mayor of Thames, Alisdair Thompson who 
happened to be a former Social Credit monetary reformer. In my 
one hour talk, I not only read my poem "Ballad of the Mayor and 
the LETS" showing how Greendollars could be used by local 
municipalities but also pointed out the historical examples of 
government use of interest-free currency systems to create 
employment touching on British wooden "tallies" between 1100 and 
1694, the use of Roman "Aes Grave" copper currency while they 
were a great empire, the use of American colonial paper 
"Continentals" before they were banned by the British king and 
precipitated the revolution (don't believe it was over a tax on 
tea), Lincoln's paper Treasury Greenback currency and Guernsey 
Island's long-standing and current use of their own national 
currency as successful examples of government-run Green currency 
     I then pointed out that the historical example of local 
Wampum currency used by North American Indians which like 
Greendollars, allowed each member to issue his own bead worth a 
horse or a pelt operated more like the LETS which allows 
individual members to issue their own Greendollar IOUs.
     Then I spent time explaining how Jesus Christ had advocated 
an interest-free monetary system and had condemned interest as 
the yoke of oppression and debt slavery and had given his life in 
the fight against this greatest crime against humanity, usury. 
     We spent that night at Roger and Maureen Kennerly's farm, 
both staunch Greendollar members who ran the local natural 
therapies clinic and also kept chickens, ducks and pigs. We went 
to sleep that night with the windows open and I think a call must 
have gone out to every mosquito in the county that there was 
fresh imported blood in town. I woke up the next morning with 
dozens and dozens of red welts on my face and arms though they 
didn't itch. For the next several days, I had to remind everybody 
I met that I didn't have leprosy, only mosquito bites. 
     On Saturday April 22, we drove down to the Epworth retreat 
near Piarere south of Hamilton for the Democratic party meeting. 
The Democrats belong to an "Alliance" of five smaller political 
parties including the Greens, the Liberals, the New Labour and 
the Maori Mano Motuhakes. I find this quite astonishing as most 
leaders of small parties prefer to be the big fish in a small 
pond rather than join a team in the larger pond. Though have 
several members in the House, with proportional representation in 
next year's elections and with over 20% of the popular vote, they 
should be well represented in the next Parliament. 
     I spoke for an hour to the Democrats who had many members of 
the former Social Credit monetary reform party and even though 
the Greendollar social credits I was talking about was not the 
form of Social Credit they had been talking about, they became 
very enthused to find out that Government didn't have to give 
away free "funny money" to balance the money supply to prices but 
could lend interest-free Greendollars to eliminate the imbalance 
in the first place. 
     I told them that Greendollar members were using social 
credits that they had been preaching about for 70 years and it 
was time they should start practicing what they were preaching 
too. I installed the Greendollar software on their computer at 
the meeting for them to practice with and nothing beats a working 
system to convince people of its real potential. Party leader, 
John Wright invited me down to speak in Christchurch on the South 
Island on the following week. 
     On Sunday April 23, we were back at the Greendollar 
conference where I spoke for 90 minutes on ways to improve the 
operation of the systems. They were organizing inter-system 
trading but there were troubles between systems as some systems 
were buying more from other systems than was being bought back. I 
pointed out that most the problems they had discussed could be 
cured with one large national database accomplished by all 
systems uploading their databases to one person who could append 
them all together and download the whole national system back to 
     As they had no way to knowing if a service members wanted 
was available somewhere on another system without a complete 
database, the only problem was accounting. But some of their 
systems had done away with the computer credits altogether and 
were using paper Greendollars which eliminated 99% of the 
accounting overhead. They should all follow that example. 
     I also pointed out that third parties could accept the notes 
without being members as long as they knew they could spend them 
somewhere, like many Canadians accept Canadian Tire money from 
Canada's largest hardware chain knowing where they can spend it, 
and in this way, paper Greendollars would be invaluable 
advertising to third parties. 
     Finally, I pointed out the importance of a store which could 
act as a casino cashier's cage. The weakness of the standard 
Greendollar system is that half the accounts have to be in the 
negative so the other half can be positive and nobody likes to be 
in the negative, a major impediment to trading. With a store 
where people can drop off goods for sale, it allows the store to 
hold the negative balance while more people may leave with 
positives and be more willing to spend. 
     In the same vein of storing goods to back up Greendollars, I 
pointed out that provision should be made for the elderly who own 
a home or other assets to pledge it to the system and be given 
open Greendollar credit lines with their commitments to be paid 
from their estate after they die. Rather than borrowing money for 
those services and losing the interest over time, they can get 
the full value and enable more working Greendollar members to go 
into the positive. 
     Of course, I emphasized the advantage of giving local 
government a Greendollar account to facilitate larger municipal 
employment creation and was told that the town of Nelson did have 
a Greendollar account. I hope to check this out and urge the LETS 
operators to immediately grant them a large credit limit with 
which to undertake such local improvement projects. Once 
government is accepting Greendollars in taxation to pay for those 
projects, everybody in the whole community would accept them 
since everybody needs the wherewithal to pay their taxes.
     Monday April 24, we drove up to Hamilton and stayed with Don 
Bethune, a former Hamilton city councillor, and his wife Mary. 
That evening, we supped with Democrat organizer Doug Lever and 
his wife Leslie and Cliff Tait and his wife Joyce. Cliff, a 
former Democrat candidate and now a Hamilton city councillor, is 
best know for his record-breaking solo flight "around the world 
in 80 days" detailed in his book "Flight of the Kiwi." Cliff 
invited me to participate in a musical evening where they had an 
organ and a couple of accordions. I don't often play with others 
but found out that New Zealand has a lot of accordionists. 
     Cliff invited me to address other Hamilton councilors at the 
"Funding Local Government" seminar at Waikato University. There, 
I met Bill Rogers, a computer science professor, who is going to 
try to introduce study of the Greendollar software to his 
     Over the next few days, Cliff and Don managed to get me on 
the "Coast to Coast" program on TV4 for a 6-minute interview by 
Kay Gregory. There was a take-over battle going on between the 
locally-owned power network and a large American company trying 
to buy them out and I pointed out that North York Hydro in 
Ontario was issuing Hydro Dollar gift certificates which could be 
traded like Greendollars and are backed with electric power and 
any smaller company could do the same though I doubted the large 
bank-connected networks would be too enthusiastic about it. I 
also had a 20 minute interview on News Radio SB with Mike Hight 
who saw quite readily that like poker chips, there could be no 
inflation if there was no interest. Of course, I plugged the 
Hamilton Greendollar system every time I could. 
     Mary Bethune took us to visit "Kiwi House" where we got to 
see some of those rare birds. I couldn't help but think that 
these funny looking but plump birds would look good on the dinner 
table. Then we went to the "Glow-worm caves." They're tiny thin 
little worms that shine light. They hang to the cave ceilings and 
drop strands of sticky webbing. Prey see the light, think it's 
the end of the tunnel and fly up to get caught. The cave ceiling 
looked just like a starry night. Quite a show.  
     On Friday April 28, we were invited to go stay at the home 
of Ron and Yvonne Gilberd in Te Akau high up in the mountains 
south of Hamilton. With no city lights, we had a great view of 
the stars in the southern hemisphere and saw the immensity of the 
Milky Way for the very first time. Ron had been a candidate for 
the Social Credit party 5 times and was enthusiastic about 
starting a Greendollar system in his area. They raised cattle and 
sheep and had just received a load of 10-day- and 17-day-old 
calves. They had these "calfeterias" which were large plastic 
pails with nipples connected to straws and it was quite a show 
watching the calves jostling each other for a nipple even though 
there were enough for all. The younger calves came right up to us 
but the older ones kept their distance. 
     On Monday May 1, I had to leave to drive to Auckland to fly 
out to Christchurch and Pauline decided to stay behind. While I 
was gone, she attended a moto-cross rally, went cross-mountain 
riding on a three-wheeled motorbike, helped in the shearing shed, 
visited the hot springs and even witnessed a "home-kill" of 3 
steers which were butchered and stored in a cooler truck in less 
than one hour. More and more people were invited to hear her 
explain how Greendollars work. Kevin Roach came to the right 
conclusion stating "Interest is the killer." 
     Before I left, Ron gave me a book about Bruce Beetham, the 
first really influential Socred leader in Parliament. What really 
broke my heart was when I found out that while he was mayor of 
Hamilton, he had wanted to finance municipal projects with 
interest-free "rates vouchers," tax-credits but couldn't even get 
it on the agenda of the Hamilton city council who were too busy 
passing a 20% tax increase. When he later got elected to 
Parliament, he organized a large barter trade with Fiji island 
but Prime Minister Muldoon scuttled the deal preferring to borrow 
money and pay interest to international banks. Talk about having 
the banker's interest at heart. 
     In Auckland, I stayed with Alan and Annette Efford. He is 
another monetary reformer who immediately decided he was going to 
join the Auckland Greendollar system. His daughter was also the 
four-time New Zealand accordion champion who had competed 
internationally. They had video-tape of her playing and I learned 
the difference between a kid like me who practiced one hour a day 
and her who practiced ten. 
     On Tuesday May 2, I flew off to Christchurch and was met by 
John Wright and his wife Beverly. That night, we went out to the 
first casino in New Zealand. The playing area was not much bigger 
than my Topaz casino and had about as many tables though they 
didn't have any real Poker. They had Blackjack, Roulette and some 
Caribbean Stud Poker which is house-banked game. My usual habit 
to disguise the fact I'm counting the cards at Blackjack is to 
bet the minimum until a really positive shoe comes along, then 
announce I'm leaving soon and betting it all until the end of the 
shoe. It would look strange to go from $5 bets to $100 bets and 
then back to $5 bets at the beginning of a new shoe, a sure clue 
that it's a card counter. This way, I look like someone who's 
just taking a shot before going home. I ended up losing $50 while 
John Wright won $50.
     He had arranged a 30-minute interview on Plains FM with Joe 
Pounsford, another staunch old Socred who had run in 1960, 63, 
66, 69, 72, 74, 84, 87, and 1990. What commitment. I again 
pointed out the power of giving the municipality an account on 
the Christchurch Greendollar system which is the largest in the 
country with almost 400 members. That night, I spoke for 90 
minutes to some Democrats and Gordon Hamblyn and his friend Dave 
came from the Greendollar system. When one fellow asked Gordon what 
LETS had actually done for him, he said "When I go to a LETS 
market, I can afford anything. I bought a camera for G$200. I 
could never have parted with 200 Kiwi dollars which I need for my 
power, telephone, rates but I could pay 200 Greendollars because 
all it meant was that I'd have to mow a few more lawns, sell a 
little more honey." The fellow joined that night with several 
     On Wednesday May 3, Joe Pounsford told me he was 
participating in a demonstration in front of the New Zealand 
Reserve Bank, the equivalent of the Bank of Canada. As Canada's 
"interest-rate protester" having picketed the Bank of Canada 
branches around the country weekly for five years, I couldn't 
resist. I bought a paste-board, printed "Abolish Interest Rates" 
and took part. I got a lot of thumbs up as I said "World's 
shortest prayer, just add 'Amen'" and "Pleasant thought for the 
day." I was also interviewed by Peter Matthias of the 
Christchurch Press whose paper also came out and took pictures of 
our demonstration. I don't think they did the story.
     On Thursday May 4, back in Auckland, all sorts of monetary 
protests were going on because the Asian Development Bank was 
meeting there. Sue Bradford had organized massive protests which 
made news around the world with clashes with the police over four 
days. She was finally arrested.
     Also in Auckland to speak against the Development Bank was 
Leonor Briones of the Philippine "Freedom From Debt Coalition." 
We attended her talk and broached the subject of Greendollars. 
She had heard of it but in Britain. I hope she uses the software to 
get her country working. She pointed out that they had 60 
million people and owed 30 billion dollars. I pointed out Canada 
had 30 million and owed 1,800 billion dollars. That took her 
breath away. 
     On Friday May 5, Alan Efford and I went to court to see Sue 
be released upon the condition she not picket until the bank 
delegates had left. We both joined the Auckland Greendollar 
system that day. I offered to sell my banking poetry in their 
store. Then we went off to picket the Asian Development Bank 
ourselves on their last day. Alan had printed up a sign which 
read "Mort-gage = Death-gamble." We were the only protesters 
there and we got within 20 meters of the front door as the 
bankers were leaving. As they went by, I pointed to the LETS disk 
I wear on my lapel and said "Interest-free money program 
spreading on the internet." Most spoke English and looked 
stunned. I guess they won't forget Sue and they won't forget me.
     What's funny is that there was a show on Don Brash, the 
Governor of the New Zealand Reserve Bank, where he said that as a 
devout Presbyterian, he was trying to be a Christian economist. 
What a contradiction. The country's head usurer thinking Christ 
would approve of his money-lender activities. 
     Chris Leitch, another committed monetary reformer got me 
interviewed on the Radio Pacific show with Mark Bennett but even 
though I kept trying to talk about a National Employment Trading 
System, all he wanted to talk about was how much money I had made 
as a gambler. I complained that they were not offering Poker and 
he pointed out that Harrah's was building a large casino right in 
down-town Auckland and he thought they would certainly have 
Poker. I hope so. 
     On Saturday May 6, Pauline joined me and we attended a 
meeting of the Alliance where the leadership was passed on from 
Sandra Lee to Jim Anderton. I spoke to a sub-group of about 70 
people for an hour once again pointing out how LETS could work 
for government. Later John Wright introduced me to the Alliance 
     Besides John Wright of the Democrats who is pro-LETS, I got 
a chance to speak to Jeannette Fitzsimons of the Greens who 
already is a LETS member from Thames, Sandra Lee of Mano Motuhake 
who mentioned that the Maoris already do a lot of barter, and 
finally the new Alliance leader Jim Anderton of the New Labour 
Party. With three of his five parties already in favour of 
barter employment software, I hope the Alliance picks up the LETS 
disk and runs with it as their national NETS monetary program. 
     That evening, we dined with Carey Wilson and his wife Mary 
Tierney. Carey gave one beautiful example of how the debt problem 
could be solved. "A salesman goes to a hotel in the morning and 
pays $50 for his night's stay. The hotelier goes to the butcher 
and pays his $50 bill for beef. The butcher goes to the baker and 
pays his $50 bill for bread. The baker goes to the auto mechanic 
who pays his $50 bill for a tune-up. The mechanic goes to the 
hotel and pays his $50 tab. The salesman comes back and says that 
he can't stay the night and asks if he can have his deposit back. 
The hotelier gives him back his $50." It didn't have to be a $50 
federal bill. It could have been a $50 Greendollar bill and the 
debts would have all been repaid in the same way. Nice example. 
     On Monday May 8, Alan Efford brought us to the airport and 
we started our journey home. Considering I went there with no 
plans other than to attend the Greendollar meeting, I am still 
amazed at the convergence of opportunities to talk monetary 
     But the best surprise was when I got home and checked my e-
mail to find that the Australian Parliament had just endorsed 
LETS as a valuable employment creation system:
Date: Wed May 10 05:25:38 1995
From: (Martin Chadwick)
Subject: Parliament endorses LET scheme
From Blue Mountains Gazette Apr 26 1994
Amendments to the Social Security Act have been passed by the 
House of Representatives which confirm the role of Local Exchange 
Trading Schemes (LETS) in the community.
These schemes allow people to exchange goods and services for 
non-cash credit points, which are called 'ecos' in the Blue 
Mountains and 'waratahs' in the Hawkesbury.
When Maggie Deahm was first elected to Parliament, the operation 
of the LETS scheme in the Blue Mountains was threatened by the 
Department of Social Security, which had ruled that 'ecos' should 
count as if they were cash for the purpose of calculating income 
which could reduce social security benefits. This effectively 
discouraged the people who could get the greatest benefit from 
LETS from participating in the scheme.
"LETS members came to me for help", Ms Deahm said. "I began 
lobbying the Minister for a change to this ruling, arguing that 
the advantages of staying active and keeping skills and contacts 
up to date helped jobseekers and other disadvantaged people in 
our community and the scheme deserved our support."
"I am pleased that the Minister has taken note of my submission 
and proceeded to put this amendment through Parliament to protect 
LETS schemes."
Speaking on the amendments in Parliament, Maggie Deahm said:
"LETS is a very important organization. It benefits unemployed 
and under employed people... and keeps their skills going. People 
are not going to lose their skills while waiting for a job to 
come up. It was a community initiative."
"The great thing about the scheme is that it encompasses a wide 
range of workers including builders, plumbers, accountants, 
people doing tax returns, babysitters and lawn mowers. It is 
extremely beneficial."
The Chair of the Caucus Community Services Committee, Garrie 
Gibson, Member for Moreton, praised Maggie's work.
"There is one particular amendment that I am particularly pleased 
about and it is as a result of some very good work on the part of 
the Member for Macquarie (Ms Deahm), which is why we now call 
this clause the Deahm amendment. She put in some outstanding 
lobbying and presentation of the facts, figures and relevant 
arguments as to why this should occur. She deserves personal 
congratulation for the achievement of this amendment"
     Thanks to all our new friends in New Zealand. We hope to 
visit you again soon. 
John and Pauline


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