The Ministry is launching a new contestable grant to support New Zealand journalists to research and publish stories on New Zealand's engagement and contribution to development in the Pacific.

What is the purpose of the grant?

The Pacific Reset outlines the importance of the Pacific region to New Zealand. The well-being of the Pacific has direct implications for New Zealand. Our investment in development in the Pacific achieves significant results in improving the lives of people across our region.

We are seeking to raise awareness of Pacific issues in New Zealand, by supporting New Zealand-based journalists to cover stories focusing on challenges, issues and opportunities in the Pacific, and the actions that New Zealand is taking with our partners in the Pacific to respond. The stories should be informed by the Pacific Reset and include initiatives supported by the New Zealand Aid Programme, but could also explore Pacific issues more widely.

Journalists will also be encouraged to engage with Pacific journalists on professional development opportunities as part of their trip, where possible and practicable, to deepen journalistic knowledge and connections across the region.

What will the funding cover?

  • The grant would contribute to travel costs incurred in researching Pacific stories. This includes flights, ground/sea transport, accommodation and other related costs, up to a maximum of $5,000.
  • Up to two people can travel on one grant (for example, a journalist and a videographer).
  • Applicants will need to be self-reliant. All arrangements, including transport, accommodation, visas and travel insurance will be the responsibility of the applicant(s) .
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade will provide background briefings and other guidance, where possible, to successful applicants to help inform their stories.
  • Where possible, the Ministry’s Pacific Posts will provide assistance facilitating research and advice about the local context, as appropriate.

Health and safety

  • Health and safety precautions will be the responsibility of the applicant .
  • Successful applicants will be expected to observe Safetravel advice on  travel risks and restrictions, and are advised to register on Safetravel:
  • Successful applicants will be provided a Travel Hazard and Risk Register to assist them in making safe travel plans.

Who can apply?

  • Professional journalists (including freelance) working in print, broadcast and digital media are welcome to apply.
  • Applicants must demonstrate an established track record in New Zealand media.
  • The grant is for content for mainstream media platforms, and cannot be used to fund academic research or for a personal blog.

Publication of stories

  • Journalists will retain editorial control over their content.  
  • Confirmation of publication is a requirement. Applicants will need to provide evidence of confirmed placement for a proposed story (or stories) in a mainstream media outlet, along with related readership/audience data.
  • There is no specific deadline for publication for successful applicants, but the Ministry’s expectation is that the story would be published/broadcast within three months of the research taking place.

What to include in your application

  1. A proposal for a story/stories, including:
  • An outline of the topic of the story and the angle of your research
  • Specific destinations and locations that you intend to travel to
  • Individuals and/or communities you would seek to visit and/or interview
  • Any specific visual elements that you intend to capture
  • Any specific health and safety risks involved in the travel and/or obtaining the story and how these would be addressed.
  1. Confirmation from a news editor/bureau chief that the proposed story will be published/broadcast.
  2. Itemised costs (fully quoted costs, not estimates), showing the total sought.

How will applications be assessed?

Preference will be given to applications that:

  • Engage with the themes and priorities of New Zealand development cooperation in the Pacific and the Pacific Reset
  • Cover more than one story
  • Will reach a wide mainstream audience
  • Demonstrate the story/stories would be difficult to cover from New Zealand.


  1. Applications should be sent to:, with ‘Pacific Journalism Grant [Your name]’ in the subject line. The deadline for application is 5.00pm 28 September 2018.
  2. Successful applicants will be notified by 10 October 2018
  3. Travel should commence by the end of 2018.