Thank you Simon Wilson for spelling out the role of the Baby Boomers in the unfolding climate catastrophe.
I moved three years ago to retirement city on the Kapiti Coast. Talk about snug and smug. Almost to a man — and they have most to say on these issues — they believe that they have earned their over-valued houses and the right to consume as much as possible of the world's resources.
Along with these assumptions goes climate change denial or, as many would more preciously put it, scepticism. But the kids know in their guts that they have no room for scepticism. It is their planet that is being consumed to meet the endless demands of too many people consuming too much with no heed to the consequences.
They have the right to ask what is the plan? Are we going to grow our economies and consumption until there is nothing left? Are we going to keep expanding our towns and cities for ever? Are we going to keep filling up the land and sea with plastic and other rubbish until they lose the capacity to support us? Are we going to keep heating up the planet until more and more of it becomes uninhabitable?
The Boomers, not all but far too many, don't give it a second thought.
Geoff Prickett, Waikanae.
When tuning in to Parliament on occasion, I've observed how standards have slipped. It seems to have deteriorated into a place of comedic routines and point-scoring one-liners.
Unsurprising that the grand-standing Speaker has come under heavy criticism, including unethical over-speaking and even bias.
Also, speech should be more thoughtful and moderated: in this day and age it is inappropriate to say "a head should lop off" as Shane Jones did when asked by a reporter about the situation of the Budget's early arrival.
Then ex-Labour Party President Mike Williams warned that a "head will roll" concerning this same issue, the next day, on early morning nationwide television.
Letters: Healthy habits, free speech and Auckland Transport
Letters: Education system, healthy eating and gender oppression
Better that they wait for the full outcome prior to issuing such inflammatory statements about any disciplinary actions — especially in such a confrontational, ugly fashion.
Colleen Wright, Botany Downs.
Twenty-six years ago if you had a centre-fire semi-auto rifle on your A-category firearms licence, you had to hand it in to police or change your licence from an A-cat to an E-cat licence.
Police checked with all the firearms dealers and found that over the past 10 years they had sold 15,000 centre-fire rifles and as they are not registered there could be as many as 25,000. So all these rifles had to be either handed in to police or you had to apply for an E-cat licence to keep it by April 30, 1993.
How many owners are involved is anybody's guess and by the closing date only 200 E-cat licences had been applied for. What makes the Government think this time will be any different?
W Telford, Waikato.
Congratulations on the incisive and insightful article by Leighton Smith, which sums up the discomfort I have been feeling about the way we are going as a nation.
He is absolutely correct in that in many areas we have deserted the teaching of important basic principles in education and replaced them with rights and propaganda. I would agree with him that we have reached a level of democracy and freedom that leads to egalitarianism, collectivism, socialism and redistribution of wealth.
Leighton is absolutely spot-on citing Brexit in the UK as causing a democratic crisis, in which the ruling classes are denying the fulfilment of a democratic vote, simply because they have a differing opinion.
Sylvia Phillips, Rotorua.
The Government highlights its shiny new initiatives in mental health, suicide prevention, rail transport, addiction services and so on. These advances all had strong public lobby campaigns behind them supported by professional experts, individuals and grassroots community groups.
But the biggest increases have gone to the surveillance services and to defence. Who was pushing for that? The Ministry of Defence has a percentage increase of more than 70 per cent.
I see we devote about $108 million towards a total cost of $2.3 billion for P8 Poseidon surveillance planes. Poseidons are optimised for anti-submarine warfare and only make sense if we are planning on going to war with our allies. Are we?
I would feel much more secure if that money went to support our teachers and health workers.
Maire Leadbeater, Mt Albert.
Tamaki's change of heart
So Brian Tamaki has had a change of heart and has decided to welcome those from the gay community into his "church".
Could it be that he has aspirations of being in Parliament and sees this as a way of getting more money and more votes? Surely he couldn't be that shallow.
Lorraine Kidd, Warkworth.
Cost of cannabis
Congratulations to the Government on producing the Wellbeing Budget.
Many will benefit but a terrible irony lurks behind all these good intentions — the decriminalisation of cannabis.
Why would any governing party with a conscience introduce two entirely opposite scenarios?
Given freedom of use, cannabis will kill or injure many more drivers, families and workers, than the 79 deaths drug-drivers caused on our roads last year. Employers in every kind of business will be affected. Most employees will be tested daily or weekly. It will cost millions of dollars, which would be better spent in needy communities for their wellbeing.
Protest loudly to your local MP and to your local mayor and council.
Russell McKenzie, Papamoa Beach.
Act in unison
This Wellbeing Budget could be transformational in a very different way from merely money doled out by the Government. As part of the Government's declarations to care for people and the environment, along with maintaining stewardship of a vibrant economy, government expenditure in key social development areas is clearly crucial.
However, the transformation may come when our citizens, businesses and communities take hold of the enablement of this new attitude and act in unison.
For example, farmers are empowered to run their businesses in harmony with the environment, businesses may move from a purely maximise-profit-for-shareholders objective to considering their employees, their communities and their environment in the decisions they make and the costs they allocate. Individuals may take responsibility for their environmental impact.
Just as President Trump with his far-right extremist views has enabled other governments to disrespect democracy and peace and has spawned intolerant behaviour and policies in his own country, our Government's promotion of wellbeing for people and the environment will hopefully influence policymakers and people in power to transform themselves. We are being watched with interest in many corners of the globe.
Forget the nitpicking and "what's-in-it-for-me" and let's get behind a historical economic initiative. This is how the Wellbeing Budget has the opportunity to be transformational.
Jane Gilmour, Te Atatu Peninsula.
You ran two letters concerning the environment (May 31): Gulf plan a stinker for anglers and Climate Change.
The first selfishly decreed the limiting of fishing in the proposed Hauraki Gulf Marine Protected area can only be described as selfish thinking: to hell with the fact that fish in the Gulf are distinctly on the way out.
The second decried the dinosaur and selfish thinking of KiwiRail — running diesel-engine locos instead of electric ones and to hell with the environment as long as their profits aren't hit.
Both underline the need for less selfishness on the part of everybody if there is going to be any chance of improving our environment and, ultimately, saving the planet for all of us.
Duncan France, Katikati.
World is watching
It was earlier reported online that the world will be watching this world first Wellbeing Budget. Have they rolled their eyes yet ?
Jenny Petersen, Kawerau.
Short & sweet
After the latest massacre at Virginia Beach, would those gun owners in New Zealand who have declared they are "punished" by our legislation now comment publicly on the way their "right" to own weapons differs in this country from the United States?
Stan Jones, Hamilton.
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde: for the State to misdirect $12 million may be regarded as unfortunate; to lose Budget papers looks like carelessness.
Brian Byrne, St Heliers.
Do we presume that all who are not royalists were at work yesterday?
Alan Boniface, Snells Beach.
Why can't the Government simply legislate the maximum allowable sugar content per 100ml of drink? (With an exception for natural fruit juice.)
Chris Elias, Mission Bay.
According to NZTA 1 in 4 drivers who crash and die are affected by cannabis. The Government wants to legalise its use on the pretence of a health based approach to reducing drug harm. Legalising cannabis will only add to our mental health crisis and the road toll.
Neil Hatfull, Warkworth.