New Zealand’s River Person

nzThe Whanganui River in New Zealand is the first river in the world to have the same legal rights as a person. The Maori People (the local tribe) have campaigned for 160 years to get the river recognised. The river is the third longest river in New Zealand.

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“The river as a whole is absolutely important to the people who are from the river and live on the river. 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 it’s recognised as its own identity,” MP Adrian Rurawhe, who represents the Maori People, told the BBC.

According to the Maori People, who live off the river, they have a spiritual connection to the river.

What do you think about a river having the same legal rights as people?

Lucy Cunningham, Year 8