Whanganui River First In The World To Be Given Legal Human Status
Whanganui River “in New Zealand has become the first in the world to be granted the same legal rights as a person”, as reported on the BBC.
“Long revered by New Zealand’s Maori people, the river’s interests will now be represented by two people.” The Whanganui River, New Zealand’s third-longest, will be represented by one member from the Maori tribes, known as iwi, and one from the Crown. The recognition allows it to be represented in court proceedings, as reported in the article.
“I know the initial inclination of some people will say it’s pretty strange to give a natural resource a legal personality,” said New Zealand’s Treaty Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson. “But it’s no stranger than family trusts, or companies or incorporated societies.”
“The river as a whole is absolutely important to the people who are from the river and live on the river,” said MP Adrian Rurawhe, who represents the Maori.
“From a Whanganui viewpoint the wellbeing of the river is directly linked to the wellbeing of the people and so it is really important that’s recognised as its own identity.”
Article Source: BBC, March 16, 2017
Image Source: Wikipedia