Treaty of Waitangi

New Zealand's Whanganui River granted legal status as a person after 170-year battle

The Whanganui River, which flows 145 kilometres from the central North Island to the sea, was given legal personhood by the country's parliament on Wednesday.

The river is a sacred and revered waterway to New Zealand's Maori Iwi people and its interests will now be represented by an Indigenous group.

It will be jointly represented by a member appointed by the Maori community, and one appointed by the government.

The country's Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Christopher Finlayson said the passing of the Te Awa Tupua Bill was a battle hard fought for.

Treaty of Waitangi to be published in 30 languages

Both the Māori and English versions of the treaty have been translated into the 30 languages and also New Zealand's sign language by the New Zealand Society of Translators and Interpreters.

The translations will be published in a book called Treaty Times Thirty and gifted to the New Zealand public at the end of this month.

The project's spokesperson, Stefan Grand-Meyer said the project celebrated the society in its 30th year and involved nearly 150 translators and reviewers who worked on the translations.