I am 16, nearly 17, in your care and wanting to open a bank account – what it’s like ‘to not exist’ as a legitimate person – just a no-one!
So you’ve asked what it takes – to get an ID
To prove I exist – that I am the ‘Real Me’
I can’t get a job – because IRD
Need to give me a number – to prove I’m the ‘Real Me’!
So I’m told by social workers – ‘well you don’t have a birth certificate’
Which in your adult world – kind of makes me ‘illegitimate’
There is a copy on file – but they say it’s not ‘the real McCoy’
So the lawyers say we have to go – and pay for one more!
So the powers that be – fill in an application
To get a new birth certificate – so I’m part of this nation!
In the meantime they tell me – ‘not to worry, it will be cool’
But after 5 months – they must think I’m a fool!
I am not a fool, just powerless – relying on adults
I still can’t have a bank account – never mind a bank balance!
I can’t get youth rates – to get the bus and train to course
I have to pay as an adult – as there’s no other recourse!
So 5 months later – I am still waiting
No updates or news – it’s really so frustrating
You expect me to be patient – do you not think I have been
Try living my world – not sure you’d be too keen!
So this is my plea – for all of us teenagers in ‘care’
Can you sort this shit earlier – I wonder if you dare
The lack of these basics – is contributing to my stress
Is it any wonder – I am a teenage mess?
I hold on to ‘hope’ – that somebody will listen
But frankly – it all seems to be too much of a mission!
Just get me my ID – so I can join the adult world
And don’t blame me – for what is quite absurd!
You just don’t make it easy – everything’s so tough
The process is humiliating – it’s really shit and rough
Because I don’t exist – as I cannot prove who I am
Maybe this has come from no one – do you know who I am?
WILL ANYONE LISTEN?
It’s been a further month – and now I have my bank account
The bank had to send a letter here – to prove what’s it’s all about!
I’ve lived here for 3 years – but they just had to prove it
And the ‘proof letter’ from Oranga Tamariki – well it just wouldn’t cut it! (for the bank)!
So when you need a bank account, get them to do it in advance
As soon as you are in care – they need to have the planz!
So when told by social workers – ‘well you don’t have a birth certificate’
They need to step up sooner – to make us all legitimate!
When you finally get your passport – your piccie identifies you
You feel like a real person – not an animal in the zoo!
So when you feel like a non-person – and are looking to exist
Get them to sort your ID pretty smart – so you’re no longer a myth!
And thanks to the people – who made this happen – finally
You have no idea what it means – to be identified – as me!
It gives a start, a sense of purpose – an opportunity
I always knew it, but now I can prove – I am the ‘Real Me’!
Maybe I can get a part-time job now – anything going?
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