NZJEP 2020

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.

The programme funds a broad range of educational and cultural projects by educationalists or artists and the interchange of educational and cultural material through formats such as festivals, exhibitions, performances and conferences. Thus enabling relations between the countries to flourish.

We welcome projects that can be completed safely and in accordance with government restrictions/alert levels, such as online/virtual projects.

A total pool of $26,500 is available.

Who can apply for funding

Anyone who has educational or cultural knowledge or expertise relating to New Zealand and Japan that funding could transform into
something more.

This includes but is not limited to:

  • educators
  • artists
  • craftspeople
  • scholars

What can be funded

A specific project that includes, but is not limited to:

  • being located within the educational or cultural sector

  • enhancing the relationship between New Zealand and Japan

  • having a multiplier effect

  • meeting the criteria of ‘seeder funding’, not ‘maintenance funding’


Key Dates

Grant applications for 2020 are now closed. 

For more information please contact:

Apply Now >


  • 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 projects based in New Zealand, 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.
  • Grants should not be applied for when there are other more appropriate sources of funding available.
  • Applications must be of 'seeder funding' not 'maintenance funding'.  ‘Seeder’ meaning new/early-stage projects, ‘Maintenance’ meaning operational type expenses for an established project.
  • Applicants must describe how they are able to complete their projects safely and in accordance with government restrictions/alert levels.
  • Recipients of grants are required to submit a report of their project using a provided template, before 1 December 2020.

Important notes

  • The NZJEP Selection Committee's decision is final, and further correspondence will not be entered into.
  • Should circumstances prevent an applicant from accepting a grant, there is no guarantee that a re-application in subsequent years would be successful.
  • A curriculum vitae of each Project Lead must be submitted with this application.
  • Evidence of project support from elsewhere would be regarded as advantageous.
  • Successful applicants will need to pay for all expenses up-front then claim these costs at the end.  You will need to provide all GST receipts in order to receive reimbursement.
  • The project will need to be completed by 30 November 2020 in order to claim the grant.


Teacher Experience
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Organising and filming in an overseas country like Japan is expensive and the NZJEP funding I received was vital for my current project Shoe Stories, a feature length documentary looking at the craft of shoemaking around the world.

Funding from the NZJEP (at this early stage of the film) has given my research and film project a momentum that would not have been there otherwise. Ultimately, I think, this support will allow me to tell a story with a much wider scope.

Jim Marbrook

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In 2017, Music Group was one of the beneficiaries of NZJEP funding. This allowed them to undertake a tour of four centres in New Zealand with four Japanese musicians, including in Wellington at the New Zealand Festival of the Arts.

The funding enabled some of the world's greatest performers to display ancient Japanese culture, along with current directions in Japanese music to NZ audiences. This has been invaluable in introducing Japanese music and instruments to New Zealanders, as well as going a long way in deepening understanding between our two nations.

Dylan Lardelli

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My NZJEP September 2018 travels in Japan started in Kyoto. This trip opened my eyes to the textile practice and cultural stories that form a significant part of Japanese identity and place.

While the landscapes throughout my travels contained many shades of green, I aimed to broaden my knowledge of indigo blue made in the time-honoured Sukumo fermentation method. Indigo or Japan blue is experiencing a resurgence across traditional growers, dyers and weavers.

This resurgent interest is well timed, as over the next two years, Japan will host two mega sporting events (Rugby World Cup 2019 and the 2020 Olympiad) and host tens of thousands of international visitors keen to experience more of Japan than just the sport.

Deb Donnelly
2018 NZJEP recipient