An interesting source of information detailing why tokens were first issued in New Zealand. A shortage of cash led to the manufacturing of tokens which were issued by various companies especially in Auckland and Dunedin.
Why Dunedin? - Because it WAS the commercial capital of New Zealand, this having come about because of its meteoric rise as the center of the Gold mining industry and for a brief period certainly the Commercial Capital of New Zealand. It might be said that ‘Gold made Dunedin’ - Lots of gold and little cash - tokens became a substitute for that cash.
Perhaps gold bought tokens and tokens bought goods and there would have been situations where people were paid in tokens due to the lack of cash and tokens could be exchanged for goods.
Whether it is public knowledge or not it is known that Johnny Jones of Waikouaiti had his own Pennies made as some were found at a spot near Waikouaiti. This spot was told to me as a wee guy and I always intended going there to look with a detector but have thus far never made it…on my death bed in ninety nine years hence I shall divulge near exactly where these pennies were to be found.