Jordan Paraha of Northland's Nga Puhi tribe will be among 20,000 people taking part in the grandest event staged on the River Thames in 350 years, to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
The 20-year-old is one of 14 kaihoe (paddlers) of the Te Hono ki Aotearoa (The Link to New Zealand) waka which will join a flotilla of more than 1000 vessels taking part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant on Sunday (local time).
The guest of honour, Queen Elizabeth II, will travel aboard the 64-metre Spirit of Chartwell, protected by strict security and a ceremonial guard including four members of the Royal New Zealand Navy.
She will be joined on the barge, decorated with a 22-carat gold leaf, by Prince Philip, Prince Charles and wife Camilla, Prince William and wife Catherine, and Prince Harry.
New Zealand Prime Minister John Key will also take part in the pageant.
For Mr Paraha, who has never been overseas before, taking part in this extraordinary celebration is another reason why becoming a kaihoe eight years ago was a good move.
"It keeps me focused on life and makes me stay out of trouble," he said.
"Before I started doing waka I didn't know anything about where I was from; didn't even know what tikanga (Maori culture) meant."
The group of 14 kaihoe, led by kaihautu (leader) Chapman Harrison, have been training since March for the London event in which they will paddle 11km over four hours.
Local celebrations will also be held across the Commonwealth where over 4000 beacons will be lit up to mark the occasion. Beacons will be lit in Masterton, Canterbury and Blenheim and at other sites around the country.
The Jubilee marks 60 years since Queen Elizabeth became the head of state for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.She is only the second British sovereign (Queen Victoria was the other) to reach the 60-year milestone.
Could Wellington's plan to help homeless beggars succeed?Vote
Copyright © 2013 Yahoo! New Zealand
All rights reserved.
Select your region to see news and weather for your area.