New Zealand river granted same legal protections as a human being

Millions of people around the world are still lacking human rights, but a river in New Zealand isn’t.

A recent parliamentary vote grants the Whanganui River the same legal standing as a human being, ensuring it will be represented by two guardians in any legal matters over the water way.

The Maori people consider this a monumental victory, having fought for it for 140 years. One representative will come from the tribe and one from the government in court proceedings.

The settlement also includes $80 million in financial redress and $30 million to improve the river’s health.

“This legislation recognizes the deep spiritual connection between the Whanganui Iwi [tribe] and its ancestral river, and creates a strong platform for the future of Whanganui River,” says Chris Finlayson, New Zealand Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations.

To see more videos like this one check out our “Digital Shorts” channel on TheBlaze.

37 Comments