New zealand Whanganui river becomes first in world to get legal status of an Person

A Maori crew on the Whanganui river during Prince Harry's visit to New Zealand

A river in New Zealand has become the first in the entire world given the legal status of an individual and to be recognised as a living thing using its rights and values.

The Whanganui River, located in the north island of New Zealand, has a particular and spiritual relevance for the Maori people.

The New Zealand Parliament has just passed a bill which provides the river with the capability to represent itself one made by a Maori community and one by the Crown, New Zealand news service Newshub reports.

The brand new status of the Whanganui River, or Te Awa Tupua, is considered to be exceptional in the world.

The Maori individuals recognise the river as a portion of the living mountains and the sea.

Chris Finlayson, who negotiated the treaty, said the Whanganui Iwi had fought for acknowledgement of the individuals' relationship together with the river since the 1870s.

"Te Awa Tupua will have its legal identity with the similar rights, duties and accountability of a legal person," he told Newshub.

"I understand some people will say it is quite unusual to provide a natural resource with a legal character, but it is no stranger than family trusts, or companies, or incorporated societies."

The Whanganui River is the third longest in the nation, and its particular new official status is a portion of the judgment to a long-running legal dispute.

The invoice contains an $80m (£65m) monetary redress and also the government will even put up $30m (£26m) to a fund for looking following the river’s wellness and wellbeing.