Wellington Chinese History Wiki

Haining Street, along with nearby Frederick Street were the central points of the early Chinese community in Wellington (Often referred to as the "Celestial Quarter", "Chinatown" or "Chinese Quarter"). Members of the Chinese community in Wellington would call the street Tong Yan Gaai (唐人街), or Chinese People's Street[1], although this Cantonese term is often used generically to refer to 'Chinatown'.[2][3]

Haining Street in particular was notorious for gambling, opium and alcohol sales[1][4][5][6][7][8][9], which lead to police raids[6][7][10], and was the scene of the infamous murder of Joe Kum Yung by Lionel Terry on 24 September 1905[1][4][11].

On 30 April 1910, Jim Wong Sing was arrested, charged with seriously assaulting Young Kee in Haining Street.[12]

This area is considered by the Wellington City Council as significant to Wellington's heritage.[13]


Yuen Tung & Co sold Chinese antiques, embroidery, and provisions. Operated from ? to ? on the corner of Haining and Taranaki Streets.

Jo Farr operated a two story, four bedroom boarding house, which was destroyed in a fire in 1897 that resulted in the death of Jo Li.


Photographic copy of a part of the New Zealand Mail, 1904, including a photograph of Haining Street, Wellington. Ref: 1/2-C-012470-F. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. /records/23091090

House in Haining Street raided by the police, photographed in 1950 by an Evening Post photographer. National Library of New Zealand. https://natlib.govt.nz/records/22604696

Not specified. (1960, May 16). Interior of a building for demolition, in Haining Street, Wellington, showing floor littered with Chinese ephemera. Retrieved 14 January 2018, from https://natlib.govt.nz/records/30665601

Haining Street, 1955: Joe Kum Yung was murdered outside the second house from the right. Photographer unidentified. (1955). Houses in Haining Street, Wellington [B&w original negative]. https://national-library.natlib.nz/records/22542631

Cottages in Haining Street, Wellington, labelled with 1947 prices. One is listed as selling for 30 pounds, two are selling for five pounds, and one for four pounds. Photograph taken by an unidentified Evening Post staff photographer in 1947. Photographic negatives and prints of the Evening Post newspaper. Ref: PAColl-9150-14. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22421805

Haining Street, 2017 (Photo (C) Cameron Sang

Sign commemorating Old Chinatown (2017) (C) Cameron Sang

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Opium dens, gambling and murder, ADRIANA WEBER, The Wellingtonian,1 April 2013 http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/local-papers/the-wellingtonian/features/8565483/Opium-dens-gambling-and-murder
  2. Manying Ip, 'Chinese - Later settlement', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/511/haining-street-wellington updated 25 Mar 2015 (accessed 4 April 2017)
  3. Shum, Lynette. (2007, July 22). REMEMBERING HAINING STREET: With both eyes open. Retrieved 4 April 2017, from http://www.stevenyoung.co.nz/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=149&Itemid=43
  4. 4.0 4.1 Murder aimed to spread ‘yellow peril’ message. (n.d.). Retrieved 10 July 2017, from http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/64512110/murder-aimed-to-spread-yellow-peril-message
  5. Radio New Zealand. (2015, January 30). How to be dead - Writer Chris Tse | Voices | RNZ. Retrieved 10 July 2017, from http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/voices/audio/20165499/how-to-be-dead-writer-chris-tse
  6. 6.0 6.1 HAINING STREET HOSPITALITY, (New Zealand Truth, Issue 880, 7 October 1922) http://wellingtonchinesehistory.wikia.com/wiki/HAINING_STREET_HOSPITALITY,_(New_Zealand_Truth,_Issue_880,_7_October_1922)
  7. 7.0 7.1 HAINING STREET HABITUES (New Zealand Times, Volume XL, Issue 9017, 14 April 1915) http://wellingtonchinesehistory.wikia.com/wiki/HAINING_STREET_HABITUES_(New_Zealand_Times,_Volume_XL,_Issue_9017,_14_April_1915)
  8. New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu Taonga. (2005, February 8). Haining Street, Wellington [Web page]. Retrieved July 17, 2017, from /en/photograph/511/haining-street-wellington
  9. 'Chinese settlers sparked some sensational rumours', URL: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/63695117/chinese-settlers-sparked-some-sensational-rumours, Alex Fensome, 1-Dec-2014
  10. Wanganui Chronicle Another Raid on Chinese Quarters, (Volume 17, Issue 15000, November 1900)
  11. 'Race killing in Wellington's Haining St', URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/race-killing-lionel-terry-murders-joe-kum-yung-in-haining-st-wellington, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 19-Jan-2017
  12. Taranaki Daily News. (1910, April 30). Chinese Assault Case. Retrieved from https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/TDN19100430.2.46
  13. Wellington City Council. (2013). Thematic Heritage Study of Wellington. Retrieved 8 November 2017, from https://wellington.govt.nz/~/media/services/community-and-culture/heritage/files/thematic-heritage-study.pdf?la=en


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