Henry George was a Californian whose 1879 book Progress and poverty argued for a single tax on the unimproved value of land. This would allow investors who made improvements by their own hard work to reap the benefit, but those who simply gained an increase in their land values because of closer settlement or social improvements would not benefit. The argument appealed in New Zealand, where there was a deep suspicion of those with excessive land holding. Proponents hoped that the single tax would encourage landowners to sell and thus allow a greater equality of land-holding. Georgism was a reaffirmation of the New Zealand Company idea of an equal society of yeoman farmers.
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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: New Zealand Free Lance, 30 March 1907, p. 14
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