New Zealand River Given Legal Human Status

While the United States government is slashing and burning every protection for America’s rivers, New Zealand is doing things a little differently. This week, the Whanganui River, a river in North Island, become the first in the world to be granted the same legal rights as a person when the New Zealand parliament passed the bill recognizing the Whanganui Rive as a living entity. Long revered by New Zealand’s Maori people, the Maori have been fighting for over 160 years to get this recognition for their river.

“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.”

We at the Chum second that. If Exxon can be a person, why shouldn’t the Madison, Snake, or Colorado…

LINK (via: BBC)

Image (Getty Images)


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