The Asia New Zealand Foundation is established Event


NameThe Asia New Zealand Foundation is established


The Asia New Zealand Foundation is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to building New Zealand's understanding and connections with Asia. Established in 1994 as the Asia 2000 Foundation, it seeks to foster stronger relationships between New Zealand and Asian economies.

Andrew Butcher describes how the origins of the foundation were entwined with the objectives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade by quoting the 1995 New Zealand Yearbook:

Launched in November 1991, the Asia 2000 Programme is a major government initiative to encourage New Zealanders to build up the skills and awareness necessary to be even more active participants in the Asia-Pacific region. Initially administered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the aims and objectives of the programme are now carried out by the Asia 2000 Foundation. In support of the foundation’s objectives, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade continues to administer the Asia 2000 programme of inward visits by key business people from Asian countries.

Within its broader mission, the Asia New Zealand Foundation places a significant emphasis on the arts as a means of cultural exchange and building understanding. Through a range of programmes and initiatives, it seeks to enhance cultural connections, encourage creativity, and showcase the diversity of Asian arts in Aotearoa New Zealand. This includes offering arts grants, opportunities for New Zealand artists to undertake arts residencies in Asia, and sponsoring curators and producers to travel to Asia and take part in development opportunities across the region. They have also initiated and supported Asian cultural events for mainstream audiences in Aotearoa, such as public Diwali and Lantern festivals.

While the Foundation’s support for arts and culture has been generous, it has always been underpinned by the Foundation’s soft-diplomatic aims, sometimes resulting in what Anna Sanderson described in monica magazine in 1997 as a fusion “between left and right-wing ideas about art and politics.


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Last updated: 25 February 2024 Suggest an Edit


Speech by Phil Goff, 'Asia 2000: Looking back to the future', November 2, 2004

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Two-page magazine article with columns of text and a photo of an exhibition with a chess-board artwork on the floor.

Anna Sanderson, 'futures trading', monica, Summer 1997