travel grants

Our media travel grants programme offers New Zealand journalists the chance to travel independently to Asia to research and prepare stories – to help demystify Asia for New Zealand audiences.

Application deadlines

For information about the latest application round, please contact Media Centre manager Graeme Acton: [email protected]

About our travel grants

Media travel grants are awarded on a competitive basis to journalists who have a clear plan of the stories they want to cover.

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.


Journalist Isobel Ewing in a street in Bangalore with a tuktuk beside her


We will still be funding projects in Asia, with proposals having to take into account issues with visas, border closures, and travel bans due to COVID-19 restrictions in some Asian nations.

We are not currently funding projects that involve international travel to countries that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has advised against travelling to. 

What types of proposals are we looking for

Proposals that 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.

Proposals that are unlikely to succeed

Proposals that are unlikely to succeed include:

  • 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 (e.g. family holidays, competing in a sports event) and plan to write stories for publication on the side.
  • Applications with a purely travel focus (e.g. 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 is unable to support travel by more than two people on the same project.


Grants to cover NZ-based stories

While restrictions on international travel are in place due to COVID-19, the Foundation has extended Media Travel Grants to include journalists working on New Zealand-based stories. Funding requirements for New Zealand-based travel grants remain the same as for travel grants to Asia (see information in sections below).

We will still be funding projects in Asia, with proposals having to take into account issues with visas, border closures, and travel bans due to COVID-19 restrictions in some Asian nations.

Who can apply

Applicants must be:

  • either working as journalists for New Zealand 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.

Journalists working for news organisations should provide a letter of support from their employer. Freelancers should provide correspondence showing that one or more news organisation(s) will publish/broadcast work resulting from the proposed project.

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 for media travel grant recipients and cannot sponsor visas. It is your responsibility to obtain the appropriate visas for your travel.

Discretionary grants

The Asia New Zealand Foundation may accept grant applications outside of the above deadlines in certain circumstances.  Please email Graeme Acton before you submit a discretionary application to check whether the Foundation can accept your application.

These grants can be used for projects that are time-dependent; for example, if you wish to cover a specific event such as a trade mission. They can also be used for professional development - such as self-arranged work placements and exchanges with Asian media organisations, or to host international speakers/media seminars.

How to apply

To apply, please fill in our online application form.

Once you submit your application, do not close the page until you see 'Thanks for your application'. You will then recieve a confirmation email. If you do not recieve this, please contact [email protected].


Selection process

Applications are awarded on a competitive basis. They are assessed by a panel that includes external representatives with newsroom experience.

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


It is your responsibility to obtain the appropriate visas for your travel. Before submitting your grant application, you should check the visa 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 Graeme Acton for more information: [email protected]