1 Jun 2012

Maori waka on Thames for Queen's Jubilee

10:33 pm on 1 June 2012

A Maori waka will feature as one of 1000 boats on the River Thames during the Queen's Diamond Jubilee pageant in Britain this weekend.

The Jubilee marks 60 years since the Queen became the head of state for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth in February 1952.

The flotilla on the Thames on Sunday is expected to draw up to 1 million spectators.

The Queen will lead the flotilla aboard the Royal Barge. New Zealand waka Te Hono Ki Aotearoa will be among the fleet on the 22km voyage.

Toi Maori Aotearoa operations manager Tamahou Temara says 14 paddlers were selected by waka leaders throughout New Zealand.

There will also be a concert at Buckingham Palace on Monday and a royal procession through London.

Later, more than 4000 beacons will be lit throughout the Commonwealth.

Queen Elizabeth II is the second longest-serving British monarch, behind Queen Victoria, who reigned from 1837-1901.

The monarch has visited New Zealand 19 times - her most recent tour was in 2002.

Members of the royal family will visit all the Commonwealth countries later in the year. The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall will visit New Zealand in November.