Voice of the River – Experimenting with Commons in Aotearoa New Zealand

October 12, 2018
12:00 noon, UTC +12, New Zealand

In 2014 New Zealand recognized the Te Urewera, a former National Park comprising forests, waterways and lakes, as its own legal personality stating “Te Urewera is ancient and enduring, a fortress of nature, alive with history; its scenery is abundant with mystery, adventure, and remote beauty” in the Te Urewera Act. In 2017 New Zealand recognized Te Awa Tupua as an “indivisible and living whole, comprising the Whanganui River from the mountains to the sea, incorporating all its physical and meta-physical elements” as its own legal personality in the Te Awa Tupua Act. These experiments are founded upon Māori philosophies, and enacted through a Westminster based government system. They fundamentally shift thinking from an anthropocentric to a relational framing – in a Māori worldview everything in this world is interconnected via kinship stemming from the primal parents Ranginui sky father and Papatūānuku earth mother. In this world-view we don’t own anything (in fact the notion of owning one’s mother is abhorrent), perhaps challenging some commons narratives. In this presentation I will briefly discuss the two Acts, their framing, and where resource, water and ocean law aspirations are heading in Aotearoa New Zealand.
To attend webinar

Time information:

  • 12:00 noon, UTC +12

  • 1:00 PM presenter local time (Auckland, NZ )

  • 8:00 PM moderator time (Oct 11th)

  • Use this link  to calculate your own local time if needed 


To join the webinar by computer:


To join the webinar by phone: 

  • US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 876 9923 

  • International numbers available here   

  • Webinar ID:  722 640 614