Ezekiel Raui has put in two requests for his upcoming meeting with the Queen.

He's asked if he can wear a korowai, and if he can hongi her.

The 20-year-old from Whatuwhiwhi will be flying to London on Friday as one of two New Zealand winners of the Queen's Young Leaders Awards.

"I think until I land in London it won't become a reality it is actually happening. It's still a really surreal feeling to me but I'm definitely ecstatic and looking forward to it."


As part of a special ceremony Raui will meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace on June 27.

He found out last year, and from the start he knew he wanted to share a hongi with Her Majesty.

So it's no surprise he has asked if that would be okay.

"I think being Māori and it being such a significant part of who I am culturally, that to me is why it's so special. To be able to do it is special so I'm looking forward to hopefully getting the chance to do that."

Raui, who also understood he would be meeting Prince Harry and Prince William, was nominated for the award for his work around leadership and mental health.

Raui created Tu Kotahi, a peer-support programme led by young people which was born on two pieces of paper after comedian and mental health campaigner Mike King spoke at Taipa Area School in 2013, after a cluster of suicides in 2012.

Meanwhile, in 2015 Raui took part in the first White House United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) conference, where he met then President Barack Obama.

Meeting Obama and the Queen were both on Raui's bucket list. The last time he spoke to the Advocate he said he was having to rethink that because he was ticking goals off earlier than expected.


"I haven't managed to add to my bucket list. Having ticked those off already is amazing."

Raui said the time to leave for London had come around quickly.

"When I first found out, I just couldn't wait but now that it's finally come around I'm looking forward to the experience."