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)

One thought on “New Zealand River Given Legal Human Status

  1. A good step. However, before crowning NZ as an environmental icon, don’t forget that the NZ government is the only producer of 1080 poison in the world which it broadcasts by helicopter throughout the North and South Island to eradicate Australian possums. It definitely kills possums, but also everything else from dogs to deer. It can’t be too good for people who eat wild deer, wild pigs, wild ducks, and so on.

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