Can a river be a person?



2017-03-16T11:15:45.390Z
2017-03-16T11:15:45.390Z

Canoeist - Wanganui Journey. Department of Conservation

Can a river have a legal identity as if it were a human being?

If it's in New Zealand it can. The Whanganui River has been recognised by a new law, as "an indivisible and living whole from the mountains to the sea". The law is a recognition of the relationship between the Maori Whanganui iwi (or tribe) and the river, and settles a dispute that has been going on since the 1870s.

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