travel grants

Our media travel grants provide New Zealand journalists with funding to travel independently to Asia to research and prepare stories – to help demystify Asia for New Zealand audiences.

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.

 The final application round for 2023 has closed. The next round will be promoted in early 2024

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.


Who can apply and terms and conditions

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, accommodation and visa and airport taxes.

Please note the Foundation:

  • may not be able to fund the full amount of some projects.
  • funds visits to Asia of up to three weeks’ duration.
  • 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

The final application round for 2023 has now closed. The next round will be promoted in early 2024

You’ll need to have the following ready before you begin:

1)      Your CV
2)      A project proposal.

This 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.

1)   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).

2)   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

Applications close 5pm, 2 October

For more information, please contact our team in the media programme:

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 our team in the media programme with any further queries: