From: RP Siegel, Triple Pundit, More from this Affiliate
Published September 12, 2012 09:12 AM

If Corporations Are People, Then Why Not Rivers?

In 1982, filmmaker Godfrey Reggio released a film called KOYAANISQATSI. The title is the Hopi word for "life out of balance," and it deals with the relationship between man and nature. From Reggio's perspective, "There seems to be no ability to see beyond, to see that we have encased ourselves in an artificial environment that has remarkably replaced the original, nature itself. We do not live with nature any longer; we live above it, off of it, as it were."

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I was reminded of this film when I read the news item about the government of New Zealand granting legal personhood to the Whanganui River.

The Whanganui, New Zealand's third longest river, was determined, in a landmark decision, to be a person, "in the same way a company is, which will give it rights and interests." This should put to rest a longstanding dispute between the indigenous Maori iwi (group) of the Whanganui and the government.

The settlement establishes the river as a protected entity that both the government and the iwi will oversee.

Article continues at ENN Affiliate, Triple Pundit

Whanganui River image via Shutterstock

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