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17 July, 2014 I Page 7
Which offends? The man or the material?
I came across a quote by author
Jo Godwin the other day. It
reads: "A truly great library
contains something in it to offend
It got me thinking, not only about
literary works but art in general.
Much of it deliberately sets out
to provoke and challenge and
earns critical acclaim, even if its
detractors outnumber its fans.
Other art manages to amass
widespread appreciation simply by
the obvious fact that it is good.
And in that light, I've been
intrigued by the attitude being
taken towards the lifetime's work
of the now disgraced Rolf Harris.
The behaviour for which he has
been tried and convicted was
despicable and he deserves
everything that's coming to him
in the form of judicial punishment
- probably more. But does the
revelation of such abhorrent
behaviour justify robbing the
world of the good stuff that he
contributed to it?
No matter what we might think
of him now, he was a very
accomplished and popular artist,
entertainer, songwriter and
It saddens me to think that kids of
the future might never sing Tie me
kangaroo down Sport or Jake the
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Peg on road trips in the back seat
of the car, or that his impressive
paintings - good enough for
the walls of Buckingham Palace
no less - might be relegated to
gather dust in the dark confines of
gallery storage, never to grace a
History is littered with artistically
brilliant miscreants. Some who
we now adoringly refer to as the
"masters" of their genre were in
their own time considered misfits
at best, criminals at worst.
And if we were to judge all artistic
worthiness on the criminal
activities of their creators there
would be very few pop tunes on
the radio today.
Granted, in Rolf Harris's case it's
not the criminality per se that is so
repulsive but rather the nature of
his offending and
that is extremely
hard to reconcile
have such strong
But before tossing
the proverbial baby
out with the bath water, I think we
need to ask ourselves who stands
to lose most from the withdrawal
of Rolf Harris's works from public
airing? The answer, quite clearly,
is not the 84-year-old Harris. He
will die long before public memory
of his offending fades. His legacy
will most certainly not be his
unwavering loyalty in the face of
unthinkable revelations. Or one
might hope that, when reflecting
behind bars on his contribution to
the world, he sees fit to bequeath
such royalties to a charity - a
completely worthless gesture if
nobody is willing to play or display.
But it could still be his art and
music - royalties from which will
presumably support his family
whose only offence has been
A great library might well be filled
with material that offends. But
it's an extremely poor library that
would censor good, inoffensive
material merely on the basis of the
offensiveness of its author.
COUNTING THE BEAT
with Melinda and Haylee
Melinda Emery - Winton Office
Schemes to subdivide and/or develop land may
be subject to income tax
In the last couple of years, we have seen a number of
our clients subdividing and/or developing land. Whether
this is as simple as selling off an unwanted paddock or
undertaking a small subdivision, these activities normally
have income tax and GST consequences. Bearing in
mind Inland Revenue are continuing with their property
focus, seeking advice and understanding the applicable
rules ahead of time can save not only tax, but the costs
of a later dispute with Inland Revenue.
Do the land sales rules apply to you?
There are a number of rules that can apply when
subdividing or developing land. One of the rules we often
encounter in advising clients applies to gains made on
any sale of subdivided/developed land when a scheme
to subdivide/develop the land was begun within 10
years of acquiring it, and the work done to the land is
more than minor in nature.
Whether these rules apply hinges around the following
1. The extent of the work done in relation to the
subdivision/development and whether this is more
than minor; and
2. Whether the undertaking or scheme to develop and/
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OF'rlIN L TD
221 Great North Road, Winton
T 03 236 6117
Haylee Preston - Te Anau Office
or subdivide the land commenced within 10 years of
If work has commenced within 10 years of acquiring
the land, any future gains made on the sale of the land
may be subject to income tax if the work done is more
than work of a minor nature. The test is dependent
upon the importance and nature of the work done in
relation to the land. For example, the extent of the legal
work, drainage, access and services all contribute to the
In relation to the 10-year rule, there can also be
uncertainty about when an undertaking or scheme
commences. Normally it is when a taxpayer puts into
place an actual plan to develop and/or subdivide the
land. Thus, getting architectural drawings prepared
or submitting plans with the council can be the
commencement of a scheme or undertaking.
Does an exemption apply?
If it transpires that your sales proceeds are subject to
tax, there are a number of exclusions that can apply so
that any gain is not automatically taxable. For example,
if a house is built on subdivided land for use as a rental,
any future gain on sale made may be exempt from
For more information, please contact your local
specialist tax advisor.
112 Town Centre, Te Anau
T 03 249 0000
Phone 0800 494 569
Please remember that this information
is a general guide and more specific
advice can be given by contacting
one of our offices.
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