Since the 1870s, New Zealand’s local Maori iwi, or tribe, has been fighting for their rights to the Whanganui River, which is known to them as Te Awa Tupua. After enduring its longest legal battle, Western legal precedent and Maori mysticism allowed New Zealand to finally and formally declare the river as a living entity. This means that the river is now protected by law like any other person, so it can be represented at legal proceedings with two lawyers protecting its rights. This also includes the river’s health, which the iwi can now protect with the $30 million (NZ) settlement money.