The Times They Are A Changing, Rapidly

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  • The Times They Are A Changing, Rapidly

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

    Updated about 4 hours ago
    PHOTO: The Whanganui river is sacred to New Zealand's Maori people. (Supplied: Wikimedia)
    MAP: New Zealand
    A river in New Zealand has become the first landmark in the world to be recognised as a living entity, after a 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.











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    ©Mapbox ©OpenStreetMap Improve this map



    MAP: Whanganui River


    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.
    "Whanganui Iwi has fought for recognition of its relationship with the Whanganui River since the 1870s," he said.
    "Today brings the longest running litigation in New Zealand's history to an end."
    Negotiations between New Zealand's government and Whanganui Iwi formally began in 2009.
    A legal revolution


    How the Te Awa Tupua Bill recognises the Maori connection to the environment and shifting assumptions about human control of the natural world.


    The Whanganui River Deed of Settlement was signed in 2014 and legislation was introduced in 2016.
    Mr Finlayson said the approach to granting a river legal personality was unique.
    "It responds to the view of the Iwi of the Whanganui River which has long recognised Te Awa Tupua through its traditions, customs and practise.
    "This legislation recognises the deep spiritual connection between the Whanganui Iwi and its ancestral river and creates a strong platform for the future of Whanganui River."
    Gerrard Albert, a spokesperson for the local Maori people, told the Telegraph the community had long been concerned about the government's impact on the "health and wellbeing" of the river.
    "We have always believed that the Whanganui River is an indivisible and living whole — Te Awa Tupua — which includes all its physical and spiritual elements from the mountains of the central North Island to the sea," he said.
    "It has been a long, hard battle ... While today we close the book on this part of our history, tomorrow we start writing a new one."


  • #2
    Watch SA Premier Jay Weatherill shirtfront Josh Frydenberg over energy policy

    By political reporter Jane Norman
    Updated 52 minutes ago
    Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.





























    VIDEO: Watch South Australia's Premier shirtfront the Federal Energy Minister on live TV (ABC News)

    RELATED STORY: 'World's largest virtual power plant' switched on in Adelaide
    RELATED STORY: PM announces $2b scheme to supercharge Snowy Hydro
    MAP: SA

    Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill have clashed during a bizarre press conference that descended into a slanging match over energy policy.
    The Federal Government has been relentlessly attacking South Australia's approach to energy and its over-reliance on renewable sources, since last year's state-wide black out.


    Mr Weatherill this week announced a half-a-billion dollar plan to shore up the state's fragile power supply, which was dismissed as a "$550 million admission of failure" by Mr Frydenberg, who accused the state of trying to "go it alone".
    In Adelaide to launch a federally funded "virtual power plant", Mr Frydenberg found himself seated awkwardly between Mr Weatherill and South Australia's Treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis, and then conducting a joint press conference with the Premier.
    PHOTO: Jay Weatherill, Josh Frydenberg and SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis. (ABC News: Nick Harmsen)

    Mr Frydenberg laughed when asked if "it was all a bit awkward", but Mr Weatherill told reporters "it's about to be" before laying into the Federal Government.
    Play (4.3 MB)
    GIF: The moment Jay Weatherill decides to take the press conference off the rails.


    The Premier said it was "galling" to be standing beside Mr Frydenberg after he and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had spent the past six months "bagging South Australia at every step of the way".
    "It's a disgrace the way in which your Government has treated our state," he said.
    "It is the most anti-South Australian Commonwealth government in living history."


    Maintaining a straight face as Mr Weatherill unloaded, Mr Frydenberg accused a "desperate" Premier of "crash tackling" his announcement.
    Mr Frydenberg later described Mr Weatherill's actions as "unbecoming, childish and unacceptable".
    The 20-minute press conference, which was broadcast live on ABC TV, highlighted the fractious relationship between South Australia and the Commonwealth.
    South Australia this week announced plans to build a new gas-fired power plant and develop Australia's largest battery to help secure its energy supplies.
    The 250-megawatt gas-fired plant would provide power grid stability and service emergency power needs.
    The state has been plagued by power loss and energy shortages over the past six months.
    Rolling blackouts were ordered last month as Adelaide sweltered through a heatwave.
    Last week, billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk said he could solve South Australia's energy woes.
    The boss of Tesla and Space X claimed his company could install a battery farm capable of "fixing" the system within 100 days, or else do it for free.
    Watch SA Premier Jay Weatherill shirtfront Josh Frydenberg over energy policy

    By political reporter Jane Norman
    Updated 52 minutes ago
    Media player: "Space" to play, "M" to mute, "left" and "right" to seek.





























    VIDEO: Watch South Australia's Premier shirtfront the Federal Energy Minister on live TV (ABC News)

    RELATED STORY: 'World's largest virtual power plant' switched on in Adelaide
    RELATED STORY: PM announces $2b scheme to supercharge Snowy Hydro
    MAP: SA

    Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg and South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill have clashed during a bizarre press conference that descended into a slanging match over energy policy.
    The Federal Government has been relentlessly attacking South Australia's approach to energy and its over-reliance on renewable sources, since last year's state-wide black out.


    Mr Weatherill this week announced a half-a-billion dollar plan to shore up the state's fragile power supply, which was dismissed as a "$550 million admission of failure" by Mr Frydenberg, who accused the state of trying to "go it alone".
    In Adelaide to launch a federally funded "virtual power plant", Mr Frydenberg found himself seated awkwardly between Mr Weatherill and South Australia's Treasurer, Tom Koutsantonis, and then conducting a joint press conference with the Premier.
    PHOTO: Jay Weatherill, Josh Frydenberg and SA Energy Minister Tom Koutsantonis. (ABC News: Nick Harmsen)

    Mr Frydenberg laughed when asked if "it was all a bit awkward", but Mr Weatherill told reporters "it's about to be" before laying into the Federal Government.
    Play (4.3 MB)
    GIF: The moment Jay Weatherill decides to take the press conference off the rails.


    The Premier said it was "galling" to be standing beside Mr Frydenberg after he and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had spent the past six months "bagging South Australia at every step of the way".
    "It's a disgrace the way in which your Government has treated our state," he said.
    "It is the most anti-South Australian Commonwealth government in living history."


    Maintaining a straight face as Mr Weatherill unloaded, Mr Frydenberg accused a "desperate" Premier of "crash tackling" his announcement.
    Mr Frydenberg later described Mr Weatherill's actions as "unbecoming, childish and unacceptable".
    The 20-minute press conference, which was broadcast live on ABC TV, highlighted the fractious relationship between South Australia and the Commonwealth.
    South Australia this week announced plans to build a new gas-fired power plant and develop Australia's largest battery to help secure its energy supplies.
    The 250-megawatt gas-fired plant would provide power grid stability and service emergency power needs.
    The state has been plagued by power loss and energy shortages over the past six months.
    Rolling blackouts were ordered last month as Adelaide sweltered through a heatwave.
    Last week, billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk said he could solve South Australia's energy woes.
    The boss of Tesla and Space X claimed his company could install a battery farm capable of "fixing" the system within 100 days, or else do it for free.

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