Mount Taranaki: will the New Zealand peak’s ‘living person’ status bring respect?

The North Island mountain is to get the same rights as people and, amid environmental concerns, the Māori community hopes this will mean tourists treat it with care

New Zealand must feel like the reserved sibling in a family of exhibitionists. You have big, brash Australia to one side, the dreamy, tropical South Pacific isles above and alluring, mysterious Antarctica to the south. Which could go some way to explaining why New Zealand has been left off so many maps of the world, from the Smithsonian Natural History Museum to those simple cartographic artworks by the likes of Starbucks and Ikea. Last month, Tourism NZ launched a light-hearted ad to #getNZonthemap, featuring Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, and comedian Rhys Darby.

Giving the mountain person status will hopefully mean people think more carefully before doing anything they shouldn’t

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