A Ngati Koroki Kahukura kaitiaki or guardian of Lake Karapiro near Cambridge says its treaty settlement goal to get people using the lake more has come true thanks to the popularity of waka ama.
About 13,000 competitors and supporters from across the country were there last week for the 2015 ActivePost Waka Ama Sprints Nationals, which wrapped up on Saturday.
A mana whenua, or local iwi spokesperson, for Ngati Koroki Kahukura, Karaitiana Tamatea said waka ama was helping to achieve the tribe's aspiration, and its wider ambition for the Waikato region.
He said having waka ama "in our backyard" consolidated that idea of getting the tribe's people back on the water.
Mr Tamatea said initially the rohe had one club but now it had five, with many tamariki making up those numbers, which was "awesome".
Waka Ama New Zealand said the event went well, with about 2000 more people attending compared to last year.