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CDIP projects

2023 Project

NZSO tour of Tonga

Musicians from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) embarked on a groundbreaking tour of Tonga in June performing with young Tongan musicians, the Tongan Police Band and The Royal Corps of Musicians, as well as presenting music workshops at several schools. The tour was the national orchestra’s first visit to the Kingdom of Tonga. Tour funding came from the Cultural Diplomacy International Programme administered by Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage. Creative New Zealand under its Pacific Arts Strategy funded the two NZSO Conducting Fellow students.

2021 Projects

World Expo 2020 Dubai

The New Zealand at Expo team and internationally renowned New Zealand choreographer Parris Goebel collaborated at Expo 2020 Dubai with the support of the CDIP. Aotearoa New Zealand’s entertainment and cultural programme showcased a variety of artists and shows from across New Zealand, with a focus on youth, and celebrating diversity through the breadth of our talent. Check out the full programme below.

NZ at Expo entertainment and cultural programme at Dubai World Expo 2020

NZ unveils pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai: 'If we weren’t here, we would miss out'

2020 Projects

Anticipated further activities in 2020 and planning for outyears were disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and international travel restrictions.

2019 Projects

Tuku Iho returns to China as part of China | New Zealand Year of Tourism, 2019

The exhibition enabled connection between Māori culture and people with host nations and cultures and was installed at the prestigious Powerstation of Art in Shanghai over the first two weeks of November.

New Zealand’s manaakitanga highlighted in China

Te Puia | NZ Māori Arts and Crafts Institute play key role

Tuku Iho | Living Legacy, Japan

Tuku Iho took place in Hokkaido in May and Tokyo in August offered compelling context for NZ inc to share New Zealand culture and identity, during a year of unprecedented opportunity, leading in to the Japan Rugby World Cup in 2019. 

Taonga offered to Japanese people ahead of Rugby World Cup

New Zealand Says '39'

‘NZ Says 39’ is a cultural festival which included a showcase of gifts - offerings or respectful acknowledgements - from New Zealand to Japan. A program ran across 39 days allowing all NZ Inc Agencies, private sector partners, NZ brands and products to come together and operate promotional activity under this core creative concept. The campaign drew on the similarities between the Japanese concept of omotenashi and the Māori concept of manaakitanga to raise awareness of New Zealand as a destination.

New Zealand says thank you to Japan

Details about 2018 activities are outlined in the Ministry's Annual Report for 2018/19.

2017 Projects

Tuku Iho | Living Legacy, Washington DC and Los Angeles

Californians came face-to-face with Māori culture in October and November, with kapa haka performers taking over the Santa Monica Pier, the film industry getting an intimate look at tā moko and a chance for residents to experience both traditional and contemporary Māori culture through the Tuku Iho | Living Legacy exhibition. Following its runaway success in Washington DC, Tuku Iho also wowed thousands more visitors in Venice Beach, Los Angeles.

TVNZ: Breathtaking kapa haka performance on famous Santa Moica Pier celebrates opening of Māori exhibition

NZ Herald: Kiwi stars throw their support behind Tuku Iho - Living Legacy exhibition at Venice Beach 

US Embassy Video

The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand exhibition, San Francisco

The critically acclaimed exhibition of Lindauer portraits The Māori Portraits: Gottfried Lindauer’s New Zealand opened at the de Young Museum, San Francisco on 9 September 2017.

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki took this exhibition of 31 Lindauer portraits to the de Young Museum which together with its sister museum the Legion of Honor comprise the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, attracting 1.5 million visitors per annum. It was the first major exhibition of Māori portraits in the United States. Te Puni Kōkiri also supported the exhibition.

Te Arawa performances in Korea

A Te Arawa cultural group performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people at two festivals in Korea in July 2017. The 15-member Te Arawa group performed at the Boryeong Mud Festival's 20th anniversary celebrations and at the Hadong Seomjin River Festival. The Te Arawa group travelled to Korea by invitation of the Boryeong and Hadong City Governments, with support from the Cultural Diplomacy International Programme as well as from the International Festival and Events Association Korea Branch (IFEA).

Te Arawa performers showcase Rotorua to Korean festival audiences

Tuku Iho | Living Legacy, Washington DC

New Zealand’s Māori culture took centre stage July 22-30 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. Through nine days of immersive programming, Tuku Iho| Living Legacy featured Tā moko – the art of Māori tattoo; carving demonstrations, Kapa haka, workshops and discussions with artists and performers against a backdrop of more than 70 Māori artworks handcrafted by students and teachers from New Zealand.  The exhibition's opening honored members of the Piscataway Indian Nation followed by a kapa haka performance on the steps of the world famous Lincoln Memorial. 

Rotorua's Maori culture centre stage in Washington DC

Latin American Roadshow

Nine New Zealand feature films and eight shorts winged their way to Latin America to take part in a travelling roadshow through eleven cities in seven countries.

Starting on 11 May in Buenos Aires, the Roadshow travelled through Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Colombia and concluded in September.

The Latin American Roadshow was a collaboration between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Culture and Heritage and the New Zealand Film Commission and has been funded by the Ministry's Cultural Diplomacy International Programme.

Further details about 2017 projects are outlined in the Ministry's Annual Report for 2017/18.

2016 Projects

Indian Ink

Indian Ink, an award-winning theatre company led by Indian-origin actor Jacob Rajan toured Kolkata, Bengaluru and New Delhi from November 8-20. They performed "Krishnan’s Dairy", a bittersweet love story based on an immigrant Indian shopkeeper who endeavours to establish a new life in New Zealand and prove his love for his homesick wife. This was the first time that the play was staged in India.

The tour was funded with support from the New Zealand Government through the Ministry's Cultural Diplomacy International Programme and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade. They performed at the Indian Council For Cultural Relations’s Satyajit Ray Auditorium in Kolkata (November 11 and 12), Ranga Shankara in Bengaluru (November 15 and 16) and at Civil Services Officers’ Institute in New Delhi as part of the Delhi International Arts Festival (November 18 and 19) 2016.

Venice Architecture Biennale

Design-oriented New Zealand companies were able to tell their stories to a large and informed international audience at the world’s leading architecture event, the Venice Architecture Biennale. A group of companies and business organisations have joined an initiative to promote New Zealand as a centre of innovative design and manufacture at the six-month long Biennale, which was launched in late May and ran until the end of November 2016.

The campaign was supported by the New Zealand Government through the Ministry's Cultural Diplomacy International Programme, focusing on the specially curated New Zealand Room at the Palazzo Bollani.

6 CDIP projects were completed during 2015/16:

  • Tuku Iho Exhibition, Buenos Aires
  • NZ-ASEAN 40th Anniversary Awards Programme NZ Cultural Showcase
  • Rugby World Cup 2015
  • Royal New Zealand Ballet tour to the United Kingdom and Italy
  • Tuku Iho Exhibition, Rio de Janeiro
  • Leveraging activity around the New Zealand exhibition at the New Zealand Film Week, Shanghai.

We also commenced a project on leveraging activity around the Venice Architecture Biennale which is due to be completed in late 2016.

Further details about 2016 projects are outlined in the Ministry's Annual Report for 2015/16.

2015 Projects

Tuku Iho | Legado Vivo Māori (Living Legacy)

Rio de Janeiro hosted the Tuku Iho | Legado Vivo Māori (Living Legacy) exhibition in October, coinciding with the city’s 450th anniversary year. It was housed at Galpão das Artes, Espaço Tom Jobim at the Rio de Janeiro Botanical Garden.

The exhibition itself was a collection of more than 80 exquisite pieces using wood, pounamu, bone, stone and flax – all crafted by students and tutors at the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute located at Te Puia in Rotorua. Tuku Iho also featured a range of living culture elements such as kapa haka, wood carving and ta moko, as well as NZ songstress, Ria Hall. Alongside the exhibition, one of NZMACI’s esteemed carvers completed a tau ihu (canoe prow) as part of the exhibition, and three tā moko (Māori tattoo) artists were working in situ at the venue. Additionally, a vibrant schedule of live cultural performances were performed at famous landmarks and Olympics venues around the city by a group of approximately 14 performing artists.

This was a NZ Inc event, supported by MFAT, Ministry for Culture and Heritage, NZTE, Tourism NZ and Education NZ.

Royal New Zealand Ballet

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s mixed bill Salute - Remembering WW1 which opened on 22 May showcased the talents of New Zealand artists working at the top of their field.  NZ choreographers Neil Ieremia and Andrew Simmons were commissioned by the RNZB to create brand new works for the Salute programme set to scores by NZ composers Dwayne Bloomfield and Gareth Farr, respectively.

“Not only will both pieces have their world premieres in Wellington, ahead of a national tour, but later this year we’ll be performing them in London, Leeds, Canterbury and Rome as part of the our tour to the UK and Italy. It’s very exciting to be taking new New Zealand work to the world stage,” says Francesco Ventriglia, the RNZB’s Artistic Director.

The Cultural International Diplomacy Programme is one of many partners who have contributed to Salute.

Taipei International Book Exhibition

New Zealand was the Guest of Honour at the 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE 15) and  took advantage of the opportunity to promote the country in as many ways as possible.

The Guest of Honour Programme, managed by the Publishers Association of New Zealand, had a Visiting Author programme, a Cultural Programme and a substantial publisher presence.

The Publishers Association of New Zealand (PANZ) announced four more writers for the Visiting Author Programme to the Taipei International Book Exhibition in February 2015.  Whiti Hereaka, Charisma Rangipunga, Robert Sullivan and Selina Tusitala Marsh joined the 11 authors announced in September 2014.  (The initial selection for the Visiting Author Programme was Eleanor Catton, Dame Joy Cowley, Gavin Bishop, Jenny Bornholdt, Paul Cleave, Joan Druett, Witi Ihimaera, Heather McAllister, Mark Sommerset, Judith White and Sarah Wilkins), and the three Graphic Novelists (Rachel Fenton, Ant Sang and Tim Gibson) whose creative exchange with Taiwanese artists began in October.
There was a series of professional and public events at the New Zealand Guest of Honour pavilion, where our authors  participated in sessions alongside their Taiwanese counterparts. Nine of the authors and illustrators have 13 books or series in translation being published to coincide with TIBE 2015.

The Ministry's CDIP fund provided $50,000 towards the establishment of the New Zealand Pavilion. Read more details about this event in the following media releases.

Five CDIP projects were completed during 2014/15:

  • Edinburgh Festivals – leveraging New Zealand’s cultural showcase at Edinburgh in 2014
  • Hosting of Tanzanian athletes in lead up to Commonwealth Games
  • New Zealand’s Guest of Honour programme at 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition
  • 2015 Cricket World Cup offshore leveraging activities
  • Tuku Iho Exhibition in Santiago.

Further details about 2015 projects are outlined in the Ministry's 2014/2015 Annual Report.

2014 Projects

Edinburgh Festival

More than 200 New Zealand artists took part in the world’s most acclaimed arts festivals in Edinburgh in August.

This is the first time such a large group of leading New Zealand actors, dancers, musicians, writers, Māori performing artists, spoken word and visual artists has been invited to the celebrated Edinburgh Festivals, which each year attract an estimated 25,000 artists, 1000 international producers and an audience of four million.

Creative New Zealand assisted companies and artists with flights, freight and a contribution towards landed costs. The programme was supported by the New Zealand Government through the Ministry's Cultural Diplomacy International Programme and the British Council.

Five CDIP projects were completed during 2013/14:

• Te Matatini kapa haka performances at Americas Cup opening events in San Francisco.

• NZ Trio tour of Warsaw, Krakow, Berlin and Prague.

• New Zealand music showcase at Shanghai Music Festival.

• Opening of the Book of New Zealand media function and NZ Inc. function to support release of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug in Los Angeles.

• NZ Youth Choir tour of Canada and United States.

2013 Projects

America's Cup campaign

New Zealand’s 2013 kapa haka champions Te Waka Huia performed in San Francisco from 2-10 July in support of the NZTE-led business engagement programme around the Emirates Team New Zealand campaign.  The Ministry was the lead agency for this project which was funded by CDIP.  The group provided a strong, culturally distinctive dimension to the programme and also supported Māori business development in this key overseas market.

The group’s schedule included performances at the opening ceremony for the America’s Cup, at the launch of the Emirates Team New Zealand yacht on its first race day and at the opening of the NZ Inc base. There were also public performances at the America’s Cup park pier and a cultural exchange programme with the Ohlone people. 

Royal New Zealand Ballet (RNZB)

CDIP supported the RNZB to tour its production of Giselle to China in April 2013, the third visit to China in five years.  The tour included an invitation to perform at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in Beijing.  In addition to the two performances at the NCPA, the RNZB performed at the following prestigious venues:  the Shanghai Oriental Art Centre; the Guangzhou Opera House; and the Suzhou Culture and Arts Centre.

The international cast in this production has a particularly strong currency.  The male lead, Qi Huan, is from Shanghai and the lead female, is the American prima ballerina, Gillian Murphy.

Seven CDIP projects were completed during 2012/13 – one in Germany, one in Samoa, four in China, and one in the United States:

· Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honour Programme, Germany, 2012.

· Return to Hawaiki, Samoa, August 2012.

· Te Papa exhibition, Beijing, October 2012 – February 2013.

· Vincent Ward, Shanghai Biennale, October 2012.

· New Zealand Film Festival, Beijing, March 2013.

· Royal New Zealand Ballet Tour of China, April 2013.

· US-NZ Forum and other NZ Week activities, Washington DC and Los Angeles, May 2013.

Further details about 2013 projects are outlined in the Ministry's 2013/14 Annual Report.

2012 Projects

Te Papa

CDIP support was provided for Te Papa to take two exhibitions to the National Museum of China in Beijing. The project marked the 40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations with China. The exhibitions are part of Te Papa's long-term strategy of engagement with Chinese institutions.  The exhibitions are:

Brian Brake: Lens on China - A highlight of Brian Brake's work in the 1950s is his photography of China. He was one of very few Western photographers to visit china and the photographs were widely seen internationally.  In 1963 he published his bestselling book New Zealand:  Gift of the Sea with photographs of New Zealand unspoiled scenery and inhabitants. The exhibition contrasts both these collections in 70 photographs.

Pounamu - A showcase for the extensive collections of pounamu held by Te Papa. The exhibition comprises 200 pounamu taonga, with the central themes the taha wairua of pounamu and its enduring value for New Zealanders. 

The exhibitions ran from November 2012 to January 2013.

Frankfurt Book Fair

The Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF) is the world’s largest book fair with significant trade and general engagement elements. Each year the FBF profiles a guest country of honour. The Guest of Honour has a year-long opportunity to showcase itself throughout Germany and to the world through literature, art and culture, promoting trade and tourism and strengthening political ties through cultural diplomacy. The year culminates at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.

In 2012 New Zealand had the opportunity to showcase itself throughout Germany and to the world through its status as Guest Country of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair (FBF) to the world through literature, art and culture, promoting trade and tourism and strengthening political ties through cultural diplomacy.

New Zealand's Guest Country of Honour status offered us the most comprehensive opportunity in decades on the New Zealand/German relationship in its many facets.

The project took an NZ Inc approach that focused on advancing New Zealand’s key bilateral goals in different sectors. Our programme was designed to ensure high visibility in Germany throughout 2012 as well as longer-term legacy value.

Our cultural programme in Frankfurt commenced in late August.  New Zealand was the Guest Country of Honour at the Museumsurferfest – a festival along the banks of the River Main which draws crowds of around 3 million over 3 days and nights. New Zealand’s cuisine and culture was showcased on a prime site on the riverbank. Contemporary musicians, kapa kaka performers and Toi Māori’s Leiden based waka supported New Zealand’s successful staging of this event, generating significant publicity in the lead-up to the Frankfurt Book Fair in October.

A key feature of the culture programme was the 2500m² Guest of Honour Pavilion which was a stunning visual experience. It featured a 20-minute film and live performance on giant screens under a starry sky.

There were 65 New Zealand authors in Frankfurt plus 100 performers taking part in about 350 events ranging from readings, panel discussions to costume play. The Fair attracted 300,000 visitors and broke previous attendance records. The New Zealand pavilion had the highest number of visitors compared to all previous Guest of Honour pavilions.

While literary, education, trans-media and commercial publishing activities and cultural events provided the core of the programme in Frankfurt, our status as Guest of Honour also provided an ideal platform for broader promotion of New Zealand as a place to visit, study, invest and to do business.

Frankfurt Book Fair feature on the Ministry's website.

Shanghai Biennale

Vincent Ward was New Zealand’s entrant to the Shanghai Biennale in October 2012. Vincent Ward is the first New Zealander invited to participate and his solo exhibition was titled Auckland Station: Destinies Lost and Found.

Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee

The New Zealand Waka was part of HM The Queen's Diamond Jubilee River Pageant in London on 3 June. A crew of 14 was selected and commenced training at the end of March. Toi Māori’s ceremonial waka taua Te Hono ki Aotearoa (The Link to New Zealand) once again featured on the Thames River as it did last year during the City of London Festival in July 2011.

Te Hono ki Aotearoa, an 84 minute documentary on the making and the emotional handover of the waka to the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden screened in New Zealand cinemas during the World Cinema Showcase in April 2012.

Further details about 2012 projects are outlined in the Ministry's Annual Report for 2012/2013.

2011 Projects

For 2011 the fund supported creative projects onshore rather than offshore to engage with the many Rugby World Cup visitors to our shores.

Further details about 2011 projects are outlined on pages 33-35 in the Ministry's Annual Report for 2011/2012.


Odes to Joy

The NZSO performed Beethoven's epic Ninth Symphony with home-grown opera stars Jonathan Lemalu, Simon O'Neill and Madeleine Pierard backed by New Zealand's leading choirs. Odes to Joy featured the world premiere of an especially-commissioned work by Gareth Farr, acclaimed among today's composers for his spectacular sound worlds. An opulent evening with New Zealand's classical all-stars!


The NZSO brought Wellington four breathless days of passion with Brahmissimo!, a four-day festival celebrating the magic of Johannes Brahms.  On the eve of the most anticipated sporting final in a generation, saw Dame Kiri Te Kanawa for A Gala Evening with the NZSO –  a glittering night of well-loved arias and classical favourites from one of the world's great and beloved voices.

Te Matatini – Arohanui

Using Kapa Haka to showcase the breadth of expression of Māori cultural identity through Māori performing arts, ‘Arohanui – The Greatest Love’ portrayed a classic love story, encompassing the essentials of love, hate, war and passion, highlighting the many facets and expressions of both traditional and contemporary Māori performing arts.  

Style Pasifika – Best of Pasifika NZ

STYLE PASIFIKA - Best of Pasifika NZ is the story of our nation told on an arena event scale using the best lighting, staging, sound and performance. Cultural, traditional and contemporary elements were woven into something truly unique.  The show featured a one-off collection by celebrated NZ fashion designers and a unique showcase of top international fashion designs from every country in the Rugby World Cup Tournament.

Oceania – Te Papa and City Gallery Wellington

Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa and the City Gallery Wellington presented Oceania, a dual exhibition which traversed the Pacific region and journeys into the history, art and soul of Oceania.  

Traveling back in time, Te Papa's exhibition Oceania : early encounters explored Pacific, Māori, and European peoples’ response to the new technologies, materials and ideas that were part of their early encounters. City Gallery’s complementary exhibition, Oceania: imagining the Pacific offered an opportunity to experience the works of leading modern and contemporary Māori, Pacific and Palangi artists from throughout the Pacific region alongside ancient Māori and Pacific taonga (treasures).

Examples of other offshore projects

Moana and the Tribe

Moana and the Tribe conducted a CDIP funded performance tour to Taiwan in July 2010. An outdoor concert at the Hualien Summer Festival attracted an audience of more than 3,000 people. They also performed on the TiTV live show which can receive up to 600,000 viewers.

Nathan Haines

Nathan Haines and his band visited Jakarta during March 2010.  He performed as the Jakarta International Jazz Festival (Java Jazz) as well as playing at the Paramadina University. He played to large audiences during the course of the Jazz Festival.

City of London

Toi Māoris’ waka taua Te Hono ki Aotearoa based at the Museum Volkenkunde in Leiden, Holland was invited to participate in the City of London Festival on the 1st July 2011 on the Thames River with the support of the Ministry for Culture and Heritage. 

We also supported Footnote who rolled out a special red carpet for a brand new work which featured six dancers of this contemporary dance company and was set to music by Fat Freddy’s Drop, Flight of the Conchords and the Black Seeds.

Earlier projects

Details about 2010 projects are outlined in the Ministry's 2010/2011 Annual Report.

Details about 2009 projects are outlined in the Ministry's 2009/2010 Annual Report.

Updated on 13th June 2023