A growing need for English
In the 1970s, a large number of non-English speaking people came to live in New Zealand. Many of them were from Southeast Asia or the Pacific Islands.
Some immigrants needed help learning English for daily life. Many women with young children could not attend classes, so volunteer tutors gave them lessons at home.
ESOL home tutoring started independently in different towns and cities. In 1992, the National Association of ESOL Home Tutor Schemes (Inc.) was formed. In 2009, the organisation was renamed as English Language Partners New Zealand. The new name and logo were launched in May 2009, at the organisation's annual conference.
In 2012, English Language Partners celebrated 20 years as a national organisation.
Inspiration behind our logo
"Kotahi te kohao o te ngira e kuhuna ai te miro ma, te miro pango, te miro whero. I muri, kia mau ki te aroha, ki te ture, ki te whakapono."
"Through the eye of the needle pass the white threads, the black threads, and the red threads. Afterwards, looking to the past as you progress, hold firmly to your love, the law, and your faith."
This whakatauki was gifted by the late Tamehana Tai Rakena of Tainui to individual leaders in the disability, and then wider community sector to support us in our work. It originated with Potatau Te Wherowhero, the first Maori King, who, at the birth of the Kingitanga movement, spoke of strength and beauty through both unity and diversity, by alluding to the beauty and the strength of the woven tukutuku. Individual threads are weak, but the process of weaving makes a strong fabric. Individual colours tell no story, but woven together they become beautiful, and can tell a story.
In 2006, the association published Settlement through English: a history of ESOL Home Tutors. You can download a pdf copy or, to access a copy of the book, visit the National Library of New Zealand.
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