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.

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.


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

  • significantly benefiting from a form of visit to New Zealand or Japan by an educationalist or artist

  • having a multiplier effect

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

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


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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