The River Runs Free?
Rivers are people too:
"We consider the river an ancestor and always have," Gerrard Albert, the lead negotiator for the Whanganui iwi tribe, told Britain's The Guardian. "We have fought to find an approximation in law so that all others can understand that from our perspective treating the river as a living entity is the correct way to approach it, as in indivisible whole, instead of the traditional model for the last 100 years of treating it from a perspective of ownership and management."No, it's just pretty strange...
"Te Awa Tupua will have its own legal identity with all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person," Chris Finlayson, minister of the treaty of Waitangi negotiations, said in a statement to the New Zealand outlet NewsHub. "The approach to granting legal personality to a river is unique."
"I know some people will say it's pretty strange to give a natural resource a legal personality, but it's no stranger than family trusts, or companies, or incorporated societies," Finlayson argued. "For Whanganui Iwi it means they have a representative speaking for the river, the Crown has a representative speaking for the river, and they are focused on addressing many of the problems the river has had over the last 140 years."