Kiwi children shouldn’t be living in poverty.
We have a problem and it’s growing right here in New Zealand. We have children in New Zealand that wake up everyday not knowing if they will be able to have breakfast, or wake up to warm clothes on their beds, or have shoes to walk in to school. Things need to change. My name is Aquilla, I am here today to to inform New Zealand, that Kiwi children should NOT be living in poverty. We need to prevent poverty from happening because these children are exposed to crowded homes, they are exposed to less life opportunities, and lastly poverty breeds poverty, we need to stop the cycle.
Firstly, Children who are living in poverty are exposed to more ill - health than children who do not live in poverty. Children that are born into poverty are more likely to be born prematurely, to have a low birth weight and to die before the age of one. Children in the lowest income families are three times more likely to get sick.
Secondly Kiwi kids who are living in poverty are considered to live in crowded homes, where one or more extra bedrooms are needed for the number of people living in the house. Also crowding can cause serious health problems in New Zealand, it has been linked to Meningococcal disease and rheumatic fever. Sixteen percent of kiwi children live in crowded homes. That is sixteen kiwis out of one hundred living in an environment that breeds diseases. On June 4th 2015 a coroner’s report into a toddler’s death, says the poor conditions of the state house in the South Auckland suburb of Otara was a contributing factor to Emma-Lita’s death. In other words this child died from a pneumonia-like illness because her parents could not afford to heat the cold damp house.
Thirdly Kiwi kids who are living in poverty are exposed to less life opportunities than kiwi kids who do not live in poverty. When a child grows up in poverty they miss out on joining sports club, trips and high decile schools. Mainly because they cost money to attend. Children who grow up in poverty are more likely to have no education qualifications, which means missing out in getting a good job. Sadly this result can lead to a life of crime.
Forthly, the stress of growing up poor can hurt a child’s brain development starting before birth, research suggests that even very small differences or irregularity in income can have major effects on the brain, because the family is worrying about paying bills or finding more money to buy food..
Lastly poverty breeds poverty, for instance if you grew up living in poverty and have kids , they are more likely to be poor income adults, who in turn will bring up their kids in poverty. It’s a vicious cycle.
In conclusion Poverty needs to STOP people like you and I can make a huge difference in our society. We can start lobbying our government to, upgrade all state housing to make them warm and re-price the basic food list so that they are more affordable and give low income families free health care. By doing this I believe we can make a better New Zealand for all of our people. Thank you for listening to my speech.