"Experts keep fingers crossed NZ's death toll will not hit 200."Well, hopefully they're doing more than that.
Oh good lord. Do you mean that if I should win $30m of untaxed lottery income - about as unearned as you can get without finding a briefcase of money on your doorstep - and want to show my, erm, "generosity", I may have to pay some tax? It's enough to make you want to drive your two new luxury cars into the swimming pool of your new $750,000 bach. Fortunately, the Herald isn't above offering tips on tax avoidance:
Big Wednesday's biggest draw - a $30 million jackpot of cash and prizes - will definitely go to at least one ticketholder tomorrow night.
And while the winner, or winners, will probably want to share the wealth with family and friends, such generosity can be taxed.
Of course, when we say "the taxman", we mean the government coffers that pay for social services, infrastructure, police, firefighters, prisons and so on. Anyway, setting up a phony loan that you never intend to claim back seems like an ethical way to deal with the situation.
But there are ways to make sure the taxman is not a recipient of any Lotto largesse.
Liz Koh, director of Moneymax, said winners could avoid paying gift duty by setting up an interest-free loan repayable on demand.
"You can have it set up in your will so that when you die the loan is wiped."
Not anyone who works at the Herald, that's for sure. One can only hope that karma brings APN an IRD audit this year.
Spicers Wealth Management senior financial adviser Jeff Matthews said winners wishing to distribute their wealth could claim they bought their ticket for a syndicate.
[...] "If you had argued that you went in and bought it with your 10 bucks, but you were doing it on behalf of your family syndicate, who is going to argue they didn't give you a dollar each?
"That's what I don't get. You get these families...Wait, what? Investigate magazine? You mean the one edited by Ian Wishart? The conspiracy magazine for right-wingers sick of all this talk about 'human rights'? If it's not New Zealand's government being illegal, it's climate change being made up on behalf of the "climate-industrial complex"; if it's not white people living in New Zealand before Maori colonisation, it's the undercover Marxist machinations of the parliamentary Green Party. I honestly thought this magazine had gone out of business years ago - who is buying all the copies that keep it running? Unless, that is, it's bankrolled by the International Zionist Conspiracy. I've already said too much.
Anyway, what was my point? Oh, that's right. I just thought it was crazy that the Families Commissioner did an interview for Investigate. Or at least I did, until I saw who was on the cover of the latest issue...
Meanwhile, in the secret headquarters of the 'Vote No' campaign, inside a live volcano somewhere off the coast of Canterbury...
Of course it was, Bob. You were just thinking of Ian Rankin, the Scottish crime writer. And, erm, Christine... Fletcher?
Ms Rankin's name was initially on the list of speakers for yesterday's opening of the "Vote No" campaign led by Family First lobbyist Bob McCoskrie, but it was withdrawn at the last minute.
Mr McCoskrie said inclusion of her name was a mistake that he had moved to correct.