The Use of Land Value Taxation In New Zealand (1891 - 1991)
This thesis examines the historical use of land value taxation by the New Zealand government over the period 1891 – 1991. The study adopts qualitative research methods to explore how land taxation policy progressed over the century and what were the relevant influences on policy direction. The primary aim of the study is to examine how the land value tax policy used in New Zealand developed over time, what drove changes to it and, ultimately, why it was abolished. To this end the study adopts a historical institutionalist framework to analyse the influence of institutional factors on the development of land tax policy. Particular attention is paid to the influence of ideas, path dependency, critical junctures and power. The research itself is an interpretive narrative history, primarily drawing from historical document sources including government records and publications, legislation, parliamentary debate records, court records and media coverage. By addressing this topic, this research informs future debate as to the suitability of land taxation for use as a tool to influence the property market or as a method of wealth taxation. In addition it offers an explanation as to how methods of taxation can become obsolete and eventually be abolished, in a New Zealand context.