The New Zealand Aid Programme offers scholarships to people from Tonga who are motivated to make a difference at home.

Applications open in early 2018 for tertiary study beginning early 2019. Read Application dates for more information.

Scholarships available and closing dates

The following scholarship types are available. Follow the links below for more information about the particular scholarship type.

New Zealand Pacific Scholarship

New Zealand Regional Development Scholarship

Short Term Training Scholarship

New Zealand Commonwealth Scholarship

Applicants from Tongatapu must apply online.  Paper applications will not be accepted for residents of Tongatapu.

Applicants from the outer islands may apply either online OR by paper application. 


Candidates must meet all the New Zealand Scholarships eligibility criteria. Note: there are differing criteria for different scholarships.

Read the full eligibility criteria.

Priority sectors

We want scholars who are interested in studying subjects that can improve the social and economic development of your country. We’ve chosen priority sectors that can help your country and that New Zealand has expertise in.

If you can show that your study is connected to any of these sectors, you are more likely to be selected.

These are the priority sectors:


  • Early childhood, primary and secondary education, disability and special education
  • Education administration, education management and leadership, education planning and curriculum development, assessment and evaluation, education planning, education research, special education, teacher training and professional development

Private sector development

  • Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) development.
  • Business/private sector management and leadership, entrepreneurship, marketing, accountancy
  • Value chain development, logistics & supply chain management, trade facilitation, economics/ applied economics, business finance, commerce

Renewable energy

  • Solar, hydro-electric and wind energy, energy engineering, renewable energy distribution systems, energy sector management/reform, including energy economics and financials


  • Skilled trades

Agriculture development

  • Agri-business management: agricultural economics, agricultural systems and management, rural development, logistics, supply chain and distribution management, value chain development, agriculture marketing, international agribusiness
  • Agriculture production: animal science, veterinary nursing, plant science, horticultural science, soil science  
  • Agriculture trade and technology: Phytosanitary, bio-security, biotechnology, agricultural trade
  • Post-harvest: food production, food sciences/technology, post-harvest processing, food storage and packaging, food safety


  • Fisheries, aquaculture

Public sector management

  • Economic policy: public financial management reform, government budgeting, tax reform, public sector auditing, statistics, demography,
  • Public sector leadership: public administration, public policy and management, public sector governance, human resource capacity development, information management.
  • International trade and business: trade facilitation, trade policy


  • Software/network engineering, cybercrime and cyber security

Disaster risk management and climate change

  • Reducing risk: hazard and vulnerability assessment, risk management, natural resource management, geology, geotechnical engineering, water resource management
  • Readiness: disaster preparedness at national level or community level including public education
  • Response: disaster response and emergency management
  • Recovery: economic and social recovery from disasters
  • Climate change adaptation: including planning for infrastructure, land use and water use

Law and justice

  • Policing (specifically, technical support to the police e.g. counselling, clinical psychology, criminology)
  • Judiciary development and judicial support
  • Youth-related support to police and justice sector

Sports development

  • Sports management and administration

Read the What You Can Study page to see examples of qualifications for the above subjects.

Selection Preferences

We are guided by both the Priority Sectors (above) and Selection Preferences when shortlisting candidates. 

Make sure you understand our Selection Preferences. In addition:

  • There will be a preference for undergraduate or masters-level study for tertiary scholarships. A maximum of two PhD’s scholarships will be awarded each year
  • Under the ‘private sector development’ area, preference will be given to applicants interested in developing particular capabilities rather than generalist management and business administration
  • In the area of ‘sports development’ preference will be given to applicants already working in the sector who can demonstrate strong management and leadership capability
  • In the area of ‘law and justice’ we will not be accepting applications for LLB or LLM studies

Contact us

We get many enquiries that can be answered by reading the extensive information on our website. For example, see Eligibility, How to Apply or Frequently asked questions.

For questions which are not answered by the information on this website, submit an online enquiry here (external link).

Regional contact:

Government of Tonga Scholarships Office
Kingdom of Tonga