cape side logo
north asia cape logo
cape sea logo


The North Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (North Asia CAPE)

cape north asia

The North Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence (North Asia CAPE) was established to help New Zealanders build and deepen sustainable, future-focused commercial, educational, and cultural relationships with Greater China, Japan, and Korea.

North Asia

What we do:



Practical workshops, short courses and modules for businesses

Expert speaker seminars offering economic analysis and geopolitical insights

Opportunities for in-country language and cultural immersion, business internships, and professional development

Thought Leadership

Support for language pathways for teachers and their students, from school to tertiary

Our diverse programme of work supports businesses, educators, students, and the general public to improve their knowledge, language and cultural competency, and commercial capabilities to succeed in North Asia.

About Us

north asia cape

How we work

The consortium

North Asia CAPE welcomes a plurality of perspectives to facilitate important conversations about New Zealand’s role and future in the region.

North Asia

Frequently Asked Questions

Who funds the Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence (CAPEs)?

The CAPEs are funded by the NZ government through the Tertiary Education Commission. The CAPEs programme was allocated $34.5 million over four years in the Government’s 2016 Budget.

What are the aims of the CAPEs?

The CAPEs aim to foster knowledge and to build cultural and economic ties between New Zealand and the Asia-Pacific. There are three CAPEs focusing on North Asia, Southeast Asia, and Latin America, respectively. Each CAPE is committed to helping businesses, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as learners, teachers, exporters, and communities to improve their understanding of the Asia-Pacific and its many cultures and languages.

Why are universities involved with the CAPEs?

The CAPEs are a university-led initiative supported by a consortium of New Zealand’s leading tertiary institutions: the University of Auckland, the University of Waikato, the University of Otago, and Victoria University of Wellington. The universities have deep expertise in business, language, culture, history and politics in the Asia-Pacific region. Together they offer strategic linkage between academic research and business-focused expertise. The North Asia CAPE, which focuses on Greater China, Japan, and Korea, is hosted by the University of Auckland. Victoria University leads the SEA CAPE, which works to enhance the way New Zealanders understand and do business with the ten ASEAN countries and Timor Leste. Victoria University also leads the Latin America CAPE, which helps ensure engagement with Latin America’s most economically robust and and trade-friendly countries.

Why do we need three new organisations focused on the Asia-Pacific?

All three CAPEs are about capability-building for New Zealanders to make them better prepared to respond to the opportunities of engaging with the Asia-Pacific region.

There are already a number of organisations dedicated to strengthening business and cultural relationships across the Asia-Pacific. However, the CAPEs are unique in their cross-institutional and multi-sector approach that bridges cutting-edge research and industry expertise. Further, while the CAPEs share a common goal of strengthening New Zealand’s economic and cultural ties with the Asia-Pacific, each CAPE has its own approach to achieving this goal. The North Asia CAPE is focused on building business across cultures in Greater China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan), Japan, and Korea, and on strengthening language pathways for learners of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. The SEA CAPE aims to equip New Zealanders to engage with and do business with the ASEAN countries and Timor Leste. The Latin America CAPE showcases and optimises the potential for profitable business connections across Latin America’s largest economies and most trade-friendly countries.

What is North Asia CAPE doing in the wake of Covid-19?

North Asia CAPE is currently consulting its stakeholders in the business and education sectors to better meet changing needs in the midst and aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.

New initiatives include our ‘North Asia Post-Covid’ series of online webinars and interactive workshops, and the ongoing digitisation of existing programmes to meet practical and health requirements.

New programmes informed by stakeholder feedback will continue to be introduced in 2020 and beyond.

How do I connect with the North Asia CAPE?

We welcome your involvement, comments, and questions. There are a number of way to keep up to date with our news, events, and initiatives. Connect with the North Asia CAPE.

Which organisations does the North Asia CAPE work with?

The North Asia CAPE works alongside a wide range of public and private organisations and businesses dedicated to supporting New Zealand’s economic and cultural relationships in the Asia-Pacific. These include NZ Trade and Enterprise, the Asia New Zealand Foundation, Export New Zealand, business councils such as NZ China Trade Association, Korea NZ Business Council, Japan NZ Business Council, the chambers of commerce, and regional economic development agencies throughout New Zealand.

How does the NA CAPE work with NZ Trade and Enterprise and the Asia NZ Foundation?

The North Asia CAPE, NZTE, and ANZF all share common goals in terms of strengthening New Zealand’s ties with Greater China, Japan, and Korea. To that end, the North Asia CAPE is committed to offering programmes and initiatives that complement those services provided by NZTE and ANZF. We will work with with these organisations to deliver outcomes on joint objectives.

I have developed a new technology that I want to export to China, Japan, and Korea. How can the North Asia CAPE help?

The North Asia CAPE supports New Zealand businesses engaged in North Asia through a range of resources, short courses, experts, events, and networking opportunities to connect you with a community of businesses already working in the region. If you don’t find what you are looking for on our website, please email your comments and questions at [email protected] or connect here.

I am a small-business owner wanting to export my products to China, Japan, or Korea but I don’t know which market is right for me. How can North Asia CAPE help?

The North Asia CAPE offers tailored short business courses that can help businesses ask the right questions before making big export decisions. Read more about the North Asia CAPE’s Business Short Courses.

How can I meet other business owners who are active in North Asian markets? Does the North Asia CAPE offer networking opportunities for small, medium, and large businesses in New Zealand?

Yes. The North Asia CAPE hosts and supports a number of networking opportunities for small, medium, and large businesses alike. Our Tuesday Talks are a great occasion to meet like minded professionals, and our nationwide seminars and partner talks provide opportunities to meet diverse groups of businesses and people.

Learn about the North Asia CAPE’s 2019 programme of events

How can the North Asia CAPE help New Zealand-based teachers of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages?

We recognise that small and medium businesses, especially outside the main centres, may struggle to get the support they need. Large, established companies have internal resources and can also rely on the support of NZTE. We have a number of offerings that are particularly tailored to small and medium enterprises. In particular, we offer short courses for evaluating markets and building relationships, which helps smaller companies develop their own in-house tools and analyses.

Read more about the North Asia CAPE’s Business Short Courses here.

I am a small-business owner wanting to export my products to China, Japan, or Korea but I don’t know which market is right for me. How can North Asia CAPE help?

The NA CAPE is committed to supporting those who teach Chinese, Japanese and Korean languages, across all levels of proficiency. In April, the North Asia CAPE Secondary Schools’ Leadership Conference will bring together teachers and secondary students studying Chinese, Korean, and Japanese for a one-day language and culture conference at the University of Auckland.

Learn more about the Secondary Schools’ Leadership Conference

Are the study abroad scholarships only available to University of Auckland students?

No. All CAPE scholarships are available to NZ resident students from all New Zealand universities.

Find more information about the North Asia CAPE education programmes and check your eligibility here.

Say hello to the North Asia CAPE team

South Asia Cape
Southeast Asia
North Asia
North Asia
Latin Cape
Latin America