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Poor Housing Conditions and Health of Maori Children


Overcrowding and poor housing among the Maori people in New Zealand have resulted in health complications. For instance, overcrowding enhances the swift spread of diseases when there is an outbreak. Tuberculosis and other respiratory diseases spread fast in crowded places than in-scattered places. The Maori people are the victims of overcrowding and thus experience health problems. When there is overcrowding, it typically means poor housing with no ventilation (Perez et al., 2021). The damp houses where the Maori people stay are so cold, thus resulting in asthma among the poor people. Reasonably, there is no social justice when these people visit the hospitals as the specialists rarely attend them. Inequalities at the hospitals are that people, especially the Maori who are foreigners in New Zealand, are treated negatively. Maori people will suffer from significant diseases that need serious attention, but medical professionals will not attend to them. Equally, this paper will draw the links between social justice and health in New Zealand and how the government of New Zealand has set goals to reduce severe mental illness.

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Social Justice concerning Health

There are many inequities in healthcare services for persons with severe mental illness (SMI) in Aotearoa. Concerning the people of Maori, social justice in healthcare services means that people with serious mental illness are not handled fairly, leading to more mortalities in New Zealand. The marginalized and underprivileged populations are the focus of social justice. Conferring to recent studies, these persons have a disproportionately high frequency of cardiovascular disease and other chronic physical health issues, putting them at an increased risk of death (Perez et al., 2021). Reasonably, these disparities are due to challenges with access to adequate healthcare services and treatment due to no social justice. In addition, since there is a less coordinated approach to addressing people with SMI’s known health concerns, it becomes difficult to help the affected people to heal.

The principles of social justice are an essential part of effective well-being elevation in New Zealand. For instance, equity is a principle of social justice that ensures that all people, regardless of their background, get the resources equally when available. Similarly, access to hospital facilities and being attended by experts is another principle accorded to these people regardless of age, gender, and ethnicity. In addition, the rights of these persons with SMI should be respected, thus protecting individual liberties to information that may affect these people with serious mental illness (Chin et al., 2018). When considering the principles of social justice for the New Zealand government, it is essential to highlight the importance of the regulations on health. Reasonably, when the principles have been implemented, the people in Aotearoa will experience improved healthcare, thus, a low mortality rate in New Zealand.

The government of New Zealand has set a goal that by 2025, Aotearoa will be a smoke-free zone. To achieve this goal, the tobacco tax has been on the rise since 2010, making it difficult for people to continue smoking since it is costly. Equally, the result will automatically transform Aotearoa and its people to live a good life, thus reducing severe mental illness. The government initiated improved stop-smoking services, particularly for young Maori women (Clair, 2018). Reasonably, women are the ones who conceive and bore children, which means that they should be taken care of to avoid producing very unhealthy children. In addition, the New Zealand government funds a 24-hour Quitline, an online and SMS service, and face-to-face stop-smoking services, and subsidizes a variety of stop-smoking medications.

Social Justice Issue That Impacts Health

Survey has shown that poor housing affects the Maori children since the houses are not conducive to a dwelling. Reasonably, inadequate housing circumstances during childhood have a cumulative negative impact on physical and mental health. Overall, 15% of New Zealanders say their homes are cold, 10% believe they are damp, and 11% believe their homes are too tiny (Ingham et al., 2019). It justifies that people will never be comfortable with poor housing conditions, as they will be infected with severe diseases. According to Ingham et al. (2019), 25% of people who rent rather than own a home say it is cold, and 19% think it is damp. Smoking tobacco and poor housing conditions influence poor health among the Maori people. Equally, smoking will result in lung diseases leading to difficulty breathing among Maori children (Stokes et al., 2017). In addition, more mortality rates will be experienced since there is inequality when attended by hospital nurses.

It is clear that people in New Zealand, especially the Maori, will not be attended to equally because of their poor background when they visit hospitals. Correspondingly, poor housing conditions, such as indoor cold, have been linked to various health problems, including an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, which increases the mortality rate due to heart failure (Howden-Chapman et al., 2012). Shallow and high temperatures have been linked to increased mortality, particularly in susceptible populations like the Maori children, who are still growing.

Residential overcrowding has been related to physical illnesses, including tuberculosis and respiratory infections, as well as psychological anguish in both adults and children. Reasonably, when a place is overcrowded, spreading out of diseases found it easy to penetrate more people putting their lives at risk (Came et al., 2018). Equally, it will be challenging to accommodate patients in a hospital who suffer from respiratory diseases that require oxygen cylinders to help them breathe. Other major chronicle diseases will develop when the patients are not attended to. Due to many accumulations of conditions, mental illness will result, putting the patient at a higher risk of dying.

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Overcrowding can also create a stressful home environment, making even basic tasks such as cooking and sleeping difficult. According to the Bristol and Western Health Authority, overcrowding has also been linked to a six-fold increase in the risk of bacterial meningitis. In addition, another study by Stanwell Smith found that children under the age of five are particularly vulnerable to contracting meningitis when living in overcrowded conditions.

The Connection Between the Identified Social Justice Issue and the Health

In New Zealand, Maori children have the worst health inequality, so Maori people die sooner. Equally, the Maori people have been marginalized for too long, both economically and politically, thus affecting social justice to health for Maori people, resulting in lower income and life expectancy. Equally, there is no equity in resource distribution and access to standard houses, thus leaving the Maori people to live in destitute homes, which subjects them to severe diseases such as respiratory diseases (Hobbs et al., 2019). Generally, the Maori children suffer from all the social justice principles, including equity, access to good houses, and their rights as human beings.

When the Maori people are marginalized both economically and as a community, they have no support from the government; they have isolated themselves. Equally, as they separate themselves from other communities, they settle in one place, thus overcrowding the place, subjecting the health of Maori children at high risk of diseases. In addition, overcrowding among the Maori people is due to the high prices of houses to rent. The 2018 census showed that 40.3% of the Maori people live in damp homes, which causes overcrowding as it is considered cheap (Clark et al., 2022). The Maori people are never given priority when it comes to resource distribution.

Poor housing has long-term consequences on wellbeing, increasing the chance of severe ailment by up to 25% during young and middle age. House prices, rents, and living costs have risen dramatically in recent decades; incomes have not kept pace, driving more Maori, who already face poverty rates, further into poverty (Swope & Hernández, 2019). Access to appropriate accommodation should be a priority among the Maori people through the government of New Zealand to enhance equitability

The Maori people work in low-skilled jobs because they are never allowed to work in high-end jobs. Sensibly, the Maori people will get meager wages that cannot sustain them. In addition, they cannot purchase land to build better houses to improve their standards of living (Hobbs et al., 2019). Technically, low-paying jobs imply that the Maori people will not access good opportunities to transform their lives. Hence, they live together to save money to buy food that will sustain them for one day.

Research shows that individuals experiencing housing instability have limited access to preventive care. For example, the Maori living in mad houses are more likely to get diseases like arthritis, which needs serious care to heal (Perez et al., 2021). Correspondingly, it implies that they will need specialists, which will be difficult due to a lack of funds. Similarly, homeless children, or people, have a shorter lifespan.

Use of Energy Voucher Subsidy Readily Available Low-Income Family (Community Service Card)

Vouchers serve as finance and programming instruments to lower obstacles to access and increase essential health amenities. The vouchers are paper or automated coupons given or vended to groups of people who then interchange them for well-being treatments at certified amenities. A supplier is typically assessed according to particular facility necessities and eminence values to be accredited (Choi et al., 2022). Voucher programs can boost the adoption of health care and enhance treatment quality when they are complemented with social, conduct variation actions, and worth guarantee techniques such as working out, nursing, and loyal direction (Bohnenberger, 2020). A coupon package can also help a well-being organization prepare for planned acquiring (for example, coverage and constricting), involve the private segment, and safeguard the underprivileged and vulnerable populations.

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When the patients have been affected so severely that they cannot handle at a small hospital where they can afford the charges, the medical professionals should come out for help. Reasonably, being of help means a strong bond between the medical professionals, the nurses, and doctors to refer the patient to a well-known specialist who will help the patient (Chisholm et al., 2019). In the same way, nurses across New Zealand and specialists can coordinate well and help the patients despite their financial status.

Adapt the Use of Modular Housing in Construction Housing and Approve Health Home Standard

People have more control over modular buildings than they do with traditional residences. Modular construction can save up to 90% of the materials used in construction. With the environment becoming a significant concern in the building sector, modular solutions to reduce waste on each project are becoming more popular (Howden-Chapman & Pierse, 2020). Even within factories that put the building parts together, there are initiatives to increase recycling. Similarly, modular housing will enhance access to better and improved housing for the Maori children hence attaining social justice.

According to New Zealand research, children who have mold in their beds are at least twice as likely to be brought to the hospital with pneumonia (Sooriyamudalige et al., 2020). More frequent asthma-related symptoms, such as wheezing, cough, phlegm, and rhinitis, are linked to damp areas in the walls or ceiling of the child’s home or visible molds or fungus on the walls or ceiling.


New Zealand’s government should implement social justice principles that include equity among all people, access to good healthcare facilities, and respect for individuals’ rights. All the factors affecting the poor people, especially the Maori people and their children, will end with good governance. Every person should be entitled to healthy healthcare services regardless of origin, including age and ethnicity (Oliver et al., 2017). Regarding the healthcare system, when people from the healthcare system come together, great things will be achieved, such as giving equal treatment to all people, whether poor or rich. Working together implies that people live as brothers and sisters and will never perish as fools. New Zealanders should adhere to the rules set out by the government, such as reducing or not smoking. Equally, when citizens of a country support the direction of the government in doing away with drugs, there will be much improvement in reducing health complications. Healthcare should be prioritized in New Zealand by ensuring that people are also trained and supervised in dealing with health complications to avoid congestion in the hospitals, resulting in inequalities and other anti-social justice.


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