New Zealand river granted legal status as a person

New Zealand Parliament by passing legislation has recognised Whanganui River revered by the Maori Tribe as a “legal person” status. It is believed to be first of its kind move in the world. In practical terms, this recognition means the river now has its own legal identity with all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person. The river is known as Te Awa Tupua by Maori tribe. It is the third longest in New Zealand. Maori tribe was fighting to assert their rights over the river since the 1870s. It was New Zealand’s longest-running legal dispute.


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