NPR

A New Zealand River Now Has The Legal Rights Of A Human

Lawmakers granted the Whanganui River the rights of legal representation on Wednesday. The vote caps over a century of struggle by the local Maori people, who see the waterway as a sacred ancestor.
Māori paddlers guide a boat down the Whanganui River in New Zealand, during a visit from Britain's Prince Harry in 2015. Source: Chris Jackson

For the first time in New Zealand's history, the country's lawmakers have granted a river the legal rights of a human. The parliamentary vote Wednesday, which caps more than 140 years of legal struggles, ensures the roughly 90-mile Whanganui River will be represented by two

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