The New Zealand Deaf Games (formerly the New Zealand Deaf Societies Convention until 1970, when it begun to be called the New Zealand Convention of the Deaf, then the New Zealand Games for the Deaf). Traditionally held in October during Labour Weekend since 1949, the Games have been and continue to be a great opportunity for generations of Deaf New Zealanders to meet, socialise, exchange information and to keep NZSL alive.

  • Community Events
  • Deaf Sports

Small Beginnings, Fast Growth

The table tennis teams at the 1951 NZ Deaf Societies Convention, Wellington. Back: Wellington Deaf Society team. Middle: Auckland Deaf Society team. Front: Christchurch Deaf Club team.

Back in 1949, the New Zealand Deaf Societies Convention was formed with only one sport, table tennis. Basketball joined the Convention in 1951, with Athletics joining in 1952 and more Deaf societies took part in these three sports.

The story behind the trophies….

The story behind the Games’ trophies, as described in the NZ Deaf News, 1964-65 (Vol. 2, No. 2)

The Aotearoa Turi Shield was awarded to the Deaf Club or Deaf Society with the team who has secured the most points in the whole of the Games. This changed in 2001 when Deaf Societies from smaller cities were not able to send teams to the New Zealand Deaf Games. It was decided that the Deaf Games and Shield would be contested through the 3 Regional Zones.

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