We support New Zealand journalists in learning more about Asia by providing travel grants, internships and access to Asia-related forums and speakers

Travel and discretionary grants for journalists

Each year, our travel and discretionary grants programme offers New Zealand journalists the chance to travel to Asia to research and prepare stories.

These grants support independent and self-managed travel to the region by New Zealand journalists.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation offers two types of grants to journalists: travel grants and discretionary grants.

Travel Grants

Travel grants are awarded to journalists who have a clear plan of what stories they want to cover.

Proposals for all locations in Asia will be considered. Applications that provide information about proposed features and interviewees, outlets for the stories, supporting letters from relevant editors/producers, costs and itineraries have a greater chance of acceptance.

2018 grant deadlines

  • Monday 23 April (closed)
  • Monday 23 July
  • Monday 22 October.

Discretionary applications may be accepted outside of these dates in certain circumstances. Please read the guidelines below and email Mark Russell before you submit a discretionary application.

Discretionary Grants

Discretionary Grants have no specific criteria, but can be used for projects that are time-dependent. For example, if you wish to cover a specific event such as a trade mission.

These grants can also be used for professional development - such as work placements and exchanges with Asian media organisations, or to host international speakers/media seminars.

There are no set deadlines for Discretionary Grants.

Selection process

Applications are awarded on a competitive basis. A panel including external media experts assess applications.

Please note that it takes about three weeks for the Foundation to advise applicants of the outcome. 

What costs are covered by the travel grants?

  • The grant can be used to cover most work-related costs, including return economy airfares, insurance, per diem allowances and visa and airport taxes.
  • The Foundation may not be able to fund the full amount of some projects.
  • The Foundation funds visits to Asia of up to three weeks’ duration.

The Asia New Zealand Foundation does not make travel arrangements and cannot sponsor visas.

What types of proposals are likely to receive funding?

The Foundation will consider proposals that seek to increase New Zealanders' understanding of the Asia region, and proposals that promote themes of economic, political, social or strategic change in Asia - and the implications of these changes for New Zealand.

What types of proposals are unlikely to succeed?

  • Proposals in which journalism is not the core reason for travel. The Foundation is unlikely to approve grant applications from people who are travelling to Asia for another reason (eg. family holidays, competing in a sports event) and plan to write stories for publication on the side.
  • Applications with a purely travel focus (eg. a cycling tour of Japan) are unlikely to be successful.
  • Single-story proposals are unlikely to succeed, as are single-person interviews that could be conducted by telephone.
  • Applications from journalists based offshore are less likely to succeed. New Zealand-based journalists will have preference.

Note for television crews: the Foundation does not support travel by more than two people on the same project.


Applicants must be:

  • either working as journalists for news organisations or as freelance journalists
  • New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

Preference will be given to candidates who:

  • are interested in deepening their knowledge of Asia
  • have a proven track record in journalism
  • are currently based in New Zealand
  • can provide a stimulating, well-researched and focused proposal outlining story ideas
  • can demonstrate that their material is likely to reach a substantial audience.

Those working for news organisations should provide a letter of support from their employer. Freelancers should provide correspondence showing that a news organisation will publish/broadcast work resulting from the proposed project.

How to apply

To apply, complete and submit the relevant sections of our online application form and submit by 5pm on the deadline date.

Before you begin, prepare the following information to copy and paste into the form.

Your CV

You can copy and paste your CV into the application form or email it to Mark Russell.

A project proposal

The project proposal must include:

  • A detailed description of your plans, why you think your project is a newsworthy idea, where you intend to go and what subject(s) you propose to cover
  • Your proposed itinerary, listing in detail the dates and destinations for the project/assignment. Where possible, identify possible interview subjects.
  • Who has agreed to publish/broadcast your stories
  • Your intended audience
  • The outputs of your assignment – e.g. articles/broadcasts/multimedia 
  • What experience you have, if any, of the country and subject(s) you wish to cover

A project budget:

Describe all costs and indicate the amount of each, exclusive of GST. The budget breakdown should include (with approximations if exact costs are unknown): 

  • New Zealand expenses (vaccinations, visas, insurance), 
  • Air travel (flight costs, departure taxes)
  • Local travel (taxis, trains, buses, flights)
  • Accommodation costs
  • Per diems (to cover meals) 
  • Sundries (drivers and interpreters if needed)

Supporting correspondence

You will also need to provide supporting correspondence from a publisher and/or broadcaster indicating an intention to publish or broadcast your work. You can email this directly to Mark Russell.


It is your responsibility to obtain the appropriate visas for your travel. Before submitting your grant application, you should check the vsia requirements for the country or countries you intend to travel to. You will need to factor in visa processing time into your planning.


Please email director strategic communications and media Mark Russell.

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