The Winter Games NZ were introduced in 2009 with the aim of being the Southern Hemisphere's premier snow and ice sports event. Originally held every two years, it became an annual event in 2017.
Men's and Women's curling tournaments featured in the first edition of the Games in 2009, hosted at Naseby's Maniototo Curling International rink. A Mixed Doubles tournament was added in 2011. After 2015, the 4-person Men's and Women's teams were removed from the schedule and it became a Mixed Doubles event only.
The 2018 tournament was the first World Curling Tour event to be held in the Southern Hemisphere, and it became the first event on the WCT season calendar.
Unfortunately, the Winter Games NZ board made the decision to remove curling from the Games offering in early 2020, citing a lack of funding. They wished to concentrate their resources on Snow Sports in the Queenstown and Wanaka areas.
"We've enjoyed the relationship we've had with the Games since it started in 2009," commented NZ Curling Chairman Sam Inder, "but we understand their position."