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THE Whanganui River has been granted the same legal status as a human being by New Zealand’s House of Representatives.
Explaining the world-first decision, the country’s Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson said the river would “have its own legal identity with all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person.”
Indigenous battles to defend nature have taken to the streets, leading to powerful mobilizations like the gathering at Standing Rock. They have also taken to the courts, through the development of innovative legal ways of protecting nature. In Ecuador, Bolivia and New Zealand, indigenous activism has helped spur the creation of a novel legal phenomenon -- the idea that nature itself can have rights.
Date: March 25th 2016
Source: Radio New Zealand
A complaint has been laid with the United Nations about proposed changes to Māori land laws.
Waitangi Tribunal claimants have sent a letter to the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights.
It accuses the government of breaching the Declaration of Rights of Indigenous People in its review of the Te Ture Whenua Māori Act.