Historically, Lake Karāpiro was filled in 1947 by damming the Waikato River for the creation of the 96-megawatt hydroelectric power station. 

Karāpiro Rowing Inc was incorporated in 1999. Over our nearly 20 years, we have successfully hosted numerous domestic and international events. 

The first regatta on the lake was held over the 1948/49 season. Following this, the first ARA Championships were held over the 1950/51 season. Lake Karāpiro first hosted the NZ Rowing Championships in 1957 (the first occasion for heats & finals). Further to this, Lake Karāpiro has also hosted the Empire Games (1957) and the World Rowing Championships in 1978 and 2010.

Our highly capable board has decades of experience between them. Each of our board members are incredibly passionate about rowing on the mighty Lake Karāpiro.

We also rely on our large pool of dedicated volunteers, without which our events would be impossible to run. As a non-profit organisation, we also rely on the generous funding we receive through community groups in the form of sponsorship and grants. We try hard to offset the cost to our competitors as much as possible.

Today, our facilities and equipment consists of International standard 1 km and 2 km courses, numerous watercraft for officiating, a state-of-the-art operations tower and a lodge. Karāpiro Rowing Inc. operate one of the only two purpose-built rowing courses currently in New Zealand. We are continually developing our facilities to maintain our world-class services.

This history of Lake Karāpiro is rich and we encourage you to take a journey using the links to learn more about the history of the area.

Life Members

Ashby, Kerry (deceased)

Britton, Peter

Campbell, Diane

Cole, Warren (deceased)

Hartley, Mike

Parr, Brian

Popplewell, Tony

Rowlands, Don (deceased)

Swales, Don (deceased)

Thomas, Warren

Friends of KRI

Click below for a list of volunteers who worked / assisted / participated, in the construction & establishment of the rowing facilities and/or made an exceptional contribution to the facilities we enjoy today.


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