"New Zealand's Maori King Calls For Whales To Be Given Personhood"

"The King of New Zealand's Indigenous Maori people made an impassioned call Thursday for whales to be granted the same legal rights as people in a bid to protect the hallowed yet vulnerable species.

Kiingi Tuheitia Potatau te Wherowhero VII said that majestic marine mammals should be given inherent human rights, such as having a healthy environment, to allow the restoration of their populations.

"The sound of our ancestor's song has grown weaker, and her habitat is under threat, which is why we must act now," King Tuheitia said in a rare public statement.

New Zealand has previously passed laws granting legal status to natural features such as rivers and mountains that are important to the Maori people."

Ryland James reports for Agence France-Presse March 28, 2024.

Source: AFP, 03/29/2024