Plaque commemorating the death of Joe Kum Yung, opposite 12 Haining Steet, Te Aro, Wellington. Photo: Cameron Sang July 2017

68 year old[1] Joe Kum Yung (aka Joe Kum Young) was murdered on Haining Street by Lionel Terry (aka Edward Lionel Terry) on 24 September 1905, in a hate crime[1][2][3][4].

Born in Canton[1], Joe Kum Yung had arrived in New Zealand in around 1880[3], after spending about four years in Victoria, Australia[5]. A mining accident left him with a broken leg, and he was him unable to continue to work[3][5]. Whilst recovering in Grey Hospital, the local Chinese community there raised sufficient funds for him to return to China, however he decided to travel to Wellington instead[5] where he was living on the streets[2]. Lionel Terry shot him in the back of the head[6] at 7:45 pm with a revolver, and Joe Kum Yung died around 10:00 pm that night[3].

Much of the story of Joe Kum Young's death focuses on Lionel Terry, and very little is known about Joe Kum Young.[7] Lionel Terry had strong Anti-Asian immigration views[3][8][9], despite only recently arriving in New Zealand. Varying accounts state he had arrived between two and four years earlier.[1]

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Police Record for Lionel Terry (Source:

A plaque on Haining Street commemorates Joe Kum Yung, and was unveiled in 2005, the 100th anniversary of the killing.[3][10][11]

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Letter to the Editor by Lionel Terry, prior to his murder of Joe Yung Kum. (Source:

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Archives New Zealand. (2016). Murder of Joe Kum Yung by Lionel Terry [Photo]. Retrieved from
  2. 2.0 2.1 'Race killing in Wellington's Haining St', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 19-Jan-2017
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Murder aimed to spread ‘yellow peril’ message. (n.d.). Retrieved 10 July 2017, from
  4. Hamilton, S. (2019, March 20). The land of the long white stain. The Spinoff.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Wairarapa Daily Times. (1905, September 26). Wairarapa Daily Times, p. 6.
  6. Clio Francis. (2011, May 23). A flame flickering to extinction. Retrieved 23 September 2018, from
  7. WellUrban: R.I.P. Joe Kum Yung. (2005, September 25). Retrieved 9 January 2018, from
  8. Charles Archibald Lawrence Treadwell. (2016). Famous New Zealand Trials — The Trial of Lionel Terry | NZETC. Retrieved 9 January 2018, from
  9. Archives New Zealand. (2013, September 2). Lionel Terry kills Joe Kum Young, Haining Street, 1905 | New Zealand Times, September 26, 1905. Retrieved 9 January 2018, from
  10. Radio New Zealand. (2015, January 30). How to be dead - Writer Chris Tse | Voices | RNZ. Retrieved 10 July 2017, from
  11. David Fung. (2005, September 19). Murder in Haining Street | Scoop News. Retrieved 23 September 2018, from


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