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Rivers in New Zealand Can Have Legal Status as Persons (NYT)


In a case that will be of interest for those following the Children’s Trust lawsuit:

“In New Zealand, Lands and Rivers Can Be People (Legally Speaking),” by Bryant Rousseau, July 13, 2016

Can a stretch of land be a person in the eyes of the law? Can a body of water?

In New Zealand, they can. A former national park has been granted personhood, and a river system is expected to receive the same soon.

The unusual designations, something like the legal status that corporations possess, came out of agreements between New Zealand’s government and Maori groups. The two sides have argued for years over guardianship of the country’s natural features….

Personhood means, among other things, that lawsuits to protect the land can be brought on behalf of the land itself, with no need to show harm to a particular human.” [Link to NYT article.]

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