No cash, Eftpos, Tairāwhiti shops allowed IOUs


The shops in the small town of Tairawhiti use IOU as currency, but cash and Eftpos are scarce in the area due to Cyclone Gabriel.

Rachel Thomas runs the Te Puia general store north of Tsunemaru Bay. When the cyclone hit, power was lost and has not yet been restored.

She used a generator to keep the shop lights on and opened doors to deliver supplies to the locals.

With no cash or Eftpos, locals pay her by ledger. She owes about $8,000.

“Obviously no one had cash, so we had to put everyone on the books. There was no contact with Eftpos, Starlink, etc.,” says Thomas.

“We owe about eight grounds on the tab. How are you going to manage that?”

While it is inconvenient to have so much money on the tab, she said her store is very important to people in the area.

“We know it’s vital for our community, especially during times like this,” she said.

For Thomas, it’s giving back.

“Our community is so amazing. They give us so much that in times like these it’s time to give back.”

Rachael Thomas works at her store.

Supplies were running low in Te Puia, and Thomas, who calls himself a “doomsday prepper”, didn’t have everything his family needed. had friends and family who rushed to nearby towns for help.

“I had my brother and sister give Gizzy a dash of mercy. They should be back today with major supplies. I could let them in to get in,” she said.

“Today the dog rolls came in, which are huge. I had milk and bread in Luatria yesterday and couldn’t come any more.”

“It was the first trip for my son, who recently got his license.

Thomas had to improvise when it came to water. Thomas couldn’t flush the toilet because the town ran out of supplies. She got the idea to get off her old armchair for a long time and make a hole in the ground.

She said that despite the dire situation in the town, the spirit of community that has developed in the wake of Gabriel is inspiring.

“Our locals are very resilient. Yesterday I had a big down day. I was feeling really down so I went to the fire station where everyone was and they It was like ‘this’. “

“It brings your spirit back a little bit,” she said.

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