In what’s believed to be a world first, the New Zealand’s government has granted the Wanganui River the same legal rights as a living person, the rights of “Personhood” under a parliamentary bill.
The passing of the bill ends the longest-running litigation in New Zealand’s history.
Two representatives from the local indigenous community, one appointed by the community, another elected by the government will be entrusted with acting in the river’s interests.
The Whanganui River is part of the living landscape of the indigenous Whanganui Iwi people, a wide variety of flora and fauna can be found in the river’s ecosystem.
The bill includes establishing a legal framework for the river and millions in financial redress.
Kudos to the people of New Zealand and now it is time for us, the people of the world to push for the Amazon River ecosystem – one of the largest and most diverse in the world, to be granted the same legal rights as a person.
This is how together we will “elevate happiness in the world”.