The New Zealand Japan Exchange Programme (NZJEP) 

The New Zealand Japan Exchange Programme (NZJEP) was jointly established by the New Zealand and Japanese Governments in the early seventies to create a deeper understanding between the two countries on a broad educational and cultural basis. ILEP administers the NZJEP programme on behalf of the Ministry of Education.

The programme funds a broad range of educational and cultural projects in the form of visits to New Zealand or Japan by educationalists or artists and the interchange of educational and cultural material through festivals, exhibitions, performances and conferences. Thus enabling relations between the countries to flourish.

Applications for 2017 have closed.

How to get involved

Applicants considered for NZJEP funding may include (but not be limited to):

In the educational field:

  • Tertiary academic staff or researchers
  • Schools or teachers
  • Specialists with an interest in Japan/New Zealand

In the cultural field:

  • Cultural practitioners themselves, i.e. artists, musicians, dancers, craftspeople, film-makers, writers, actors, etc.
  • Curators, archivists, conservators, etc.
  • Academic/cultural personnel, i.e. art historians, etc.

Read examples of previously funded projects to the right.


  • Grants are not available for the sole purpose of enhancing the personal experience or personal knowledge of any individual or group.
  • A proposal must involve a specific project.
  • For New Zealanders, a project must have a basis in or result from previous work relating to Japan (i.e. there should be evidence of a prior, relevant and substantial interest in or connection with Japan).
  • The project should have a multiplier effect, in that the outcomes have an impact on the wider community.
  • The applicants should be of acknowledged quality (established or potential).
  • Evidence of project support from elsewhere would be regarded as advantageous.
  • Grants should not be applied for when there are other more appropriate sources of funding available.
  • Applications need to meet the criteria of `seeder funding' not `maintenance funding'.
  • Recipients of grants are required to produce a report of their project within two months of completion. This report is to include an “Expenditure report” with receipts for major items.

Applications are reviewed and prioritised according to the above criteria by a selection committee.


For more information please contact
Morgan Patterson, Pathway Manager
ph 09-623 8899 ext 46366, email

To receive an application form, please contact
Jennifer Thomson, Intercultural Programmes Coordinator
ph 09-623 8899 ext 46377, email



Recent Projects Facilitated by NZJEP:

IBBY International Congress

In 2016, the IBBY (International Board on Books for Young People) International Congress was one of the beneficiaries of the NZJEP. For the first time, their biennial congress was held in New Zealand that year. The funding received was contributing towards travel costs for author Nahoko Uehashi. Nahoko Uehashi, who is the winner of the 2014 Hans Christian Andersen Author Award, was one of the feature speakers. The organisers were very thankful to the funding received through NZJEP as Nahoko gave “a moving and most interesting contribution to a panel on Cultural Diversity in Children’s Literature.”

Pacific Skin

Pacific Skin is an intercultural festival of media and dance performances featuring international and local professional dancers, choreographers, poets/performers, digital artists and postgraduate students from AUT. It forges a connection between New Zealand and contemporary dancers from the east coast of Japan through the performances which explore the interconnectivity of cultures and shared values of people from the Pacific region. Read more about the project here.

Environmental and ecological sustainability survey

Principal Simon Green from North Loburn school in North Canterbury travelled to Osaka to compare learning of sustainability in schools in New Zealand and Japan. Read more about his trip in the Education Gazette's article here.

Haiku and Shodo competitions

Learners of the Japanese language to express their thoughts and feelings in a Japanese Haiku poem and to experience the traditional Japanese art of calligraphy.View a display of Haiku entries here.


The set-up and launch of a tertiary Japanese teaching network, JSANZ, to address the need for communication and collaboration between such  teachers with the aim of haltng the decline in numbers of students studying Japanese, improving articulation among primary, secondary and tertiary providers and advocating for greater recognition of the value of language learning (in particular Japanese).


A two-piece live electronic band from Palmerston North toured Japan in 2014 to promote their music.

O-Taiko Japanese Drumming Experience

A Japanese drumming ensemble from Dunedin received funding to extend their project educating primary school children about Japanese culture through the art of taiko. This was done through performances and workshops. 

Japanese Teacher Professional Development

A project set up by AUT to provide professional development for Japanese language teachers in the wider Auckland area to develop a further awareness of, and confidence in teaching of Intercultural Competence.