- New Zealand’s Whanganui River has gained its own identity with all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person, after a 170—year battle.
- Te Awa Tupua (Whanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament on Wednesday, will establish a new legal framework for the river.
- It recognised the river as an indivisible and living whole from the mountains to the sea.
- The river is a sacred and revered waterway to New Zealand’s Maori Iwi people and its interests will now be represented by an Indigenous group.
- Among other things, the river could now be represented in court proceedings.
- The Whanganui River is a major river in the North Island of New Zealand.
- It is the country’s third-longest river, and has special status owing to its importance to the region’s Māori people.
- In March 2017 it became the world’s first natural resource to be given its own legal identity, with the rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person.
- The Whanganui Treaty settlement brought the longest-running litigation in New Zealand history to an end.
Source: The Hindu & Wiki