Chris Whinlayson

The Idiot[cy] Goes On

16 Mar 2017

Once the Te Awa Tupua (Wanganui River Claims Settlement) Bill becomes law, the Wanganui River is to gain its own legal identity with all the corresponding rights, duties and liabilities of a legal person. But what does this actually mean? Will it have all the same rights and responsibilities as anyone else?


A legal person has all the rights, duties and liabilities of a person but is not a natural person – a human being. When it comes to understanding the river’s new rights and responsibilities, it’s easiest to think of it like you’d think of a company.


In New Zealand, legal persons, like companies, have guaranteed rights just like actual people (natural people). The same way that a natural person has a right to freedom of expression, so does a company that owns a newspaper. This principle will now apply to the river. Not all of the rights will apply but any right that it makes sense for a legal person to have, the river will have as well. This will include things like the right to natural justice.


Basically the same tax rules apply to it as apply to other legal persons. It probably depends on what it does, but if it starts supplying goods or services, it will have the same GST responsibilities as a company would.


The settlement’s total cost to the NZ taxpayer is $81 million. $30m for the establishment of Te Korotete (a fund to support the health and wellbeing of the river); $200,000 per year for 20 years for Te Pou Tupua (the “face” of the river, or the two natural persons appointed to act for the river); $430,000 for the establishment of Te Heke Ngahuru (a strategy established to ensure the future environmental, social, cultural and economic health and well being of Te Awa Tupua).

Sources: Stuff, Lawyer Graeme Edgeler and New Zealand Government settlement summary.

19 thoughts on “The Idiot[cy] Goes On

  1. It is hard to tell what planet Finlayson is on. Not the same one most of us inhabit or am I out of contact with National Party thinking. In years to come people might look back on strange concepts such a giving a river the legal status of a human or a legal company. We will be thought of in the future as very odd people or just very primative innocents.
    Sadly, this type of deal will only cause nation wide resentment in the future. Basically, it is not about natural rights or indigenous rights. Instead it is about selling off power and cash to a few select persons in return for some political support. Finlayson is paying off his mates in order to move back into the Treaty claim business as a preferred legal consultant.
    National’s handling of race issues and the environment will definitely loose them the election. They must be totally blind not to see that their time is up.

  2. Just as long as it pays for the clean up costs and damages it causes when in flood this works for me…oh and the ‘two natural persons acting for the river’ guarantee payment.

  3. For F—s sake when are the idiots in NZ going to wake up and realize that they are being scammed big time. If it was’nt so serious it would be almost laughable. That idiot Finlayson seems to take a great delight in giving our money away.Next thing you know he will be giving away more money to feed the Taniwha that live in the river—Yeah Right.

  4. This just all beggars belief. Have the politicians gone mad or something? Finlayson should be run out of Parliament. He’s doing so much damage to our country and National are letting it happen. I dread to think where we are all going to end up!!

  5. Hear bloody hear. Lead us on – this nonsense must end before we wander into a collision of cultures. He iwi tahi tatau. It is not unreasonable to insist of Chris – united we stand – divided we will fall. Give it a break Christopher. Do NZ a favour and fall on your sword. Barry Anderson, Tauranga.

  6. It looks like our minister of Apartheid is sucking up again
    when will people learn that voting for National Labour or greens are supporting apartheid in New Zealand

  7. Unbelievable and sickening. What’s the bet the two members of the human race overseeing the life of the river are part-Maori? $100,000 a year each for the next twenty years makes this a well paid nonsensical position to hold.
    We DO need to look after the health of our rivers and waterways but like this???!!!

  8. As far as I know traitor Finlayson has tried and failed 4 times to get elected so each time, despite his unpopularity, has snuck in on the Party vote. How despicable and anti democratic! Does anyone else think this just may be his payback for all those rejections, or is he truly so deluded and out of touch that he thinks he has some devine right to throw away billions of dollars of other peoples money? I told my friend about this in Europe and she thinks I am making it up….it’s too stupid to believe she said.

  9. What an idiot old finlayson is even more so are the MP’s that support him with his apartheid rubbish it’s just another scam to pay money to Another group of people who think they were here first and think they have more rights than the rest of us. The Patupaiarehe and the Waitaha pre Maori people who were living here would have use the river before the group of people who are now called Maori why aren’t they getting the payout. By giving it to the maori it will never be use to improve the river it will go into someones back pocket.


  10. What a brilliant idea led by the master of ridiculousness. I want to nominate me as in charge of the Waikato river. I’m happy to do it for half the amount.

  11. I can see a lot of pretty complex legal issues arising from this decision. As the river will have a legal persona, it won’t be a long stretch to consider that its main occupation is supplying goods in the form of water. Will people who draw water from the river be required to enter into a contract with the river, will they be required to reimburse the river for using theses goods? Will these contractual arrangements come on top of the normal RMA requirements? I can see a mess coming up, all kindly funded by the NZ taxpayer.

  12. The Wanganui Mayor, the Deputy Mayor and the CEO were going to be among those present at parliament who are supporting the bill which pays out $81 million of tax payers money even though they know that maori were not first here. This is why we have seppartism in Wanganui, people are not interested in the truth. The Mayor and deputy are the same people that supported the ‘h’ in the spelling of Wanganui knowing full well it is not a Maori name as it belongs to the Waitaha people. Deceit is rife in Wanganui.

  13. Absolute rubbish. If someone drowns in the river are the Police going to haul it to court and charge it with murder. Completely insane just like Finlayson.

  14. Get real! You can bet your bottom dollar that the fine print in this deal will be that the IWantIt crowd will have every and all available rights and absolutely none of the responsibilities or obligations.

  15. Well done, Mr Finlayson. The world is laughing at us.
    See Fox News facebook, where they point out the idiot legal ramifications that could ensue from a decision such as this.
    Bring on the clowns? They’re already here.

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