Wellington Chinese History Wiki

Joe Kum Yung memorial, Haining Street.

New Zealand Chinese communities have a long history in Wellington, New Zealand, with the earliest Chinese settling in Wellington around the 1860s[1] when John Ah Tong set up a carpentry business in Willis Street[1][2]. Chinese didn't arrive in significant numbers until the 1880s[3], some 40 years after Wong Ah Poo Hoc Ting (aka Appo Hocton) jumped ship in Nelson to become the first Chinese migrant to New Zealand[4][5][6], and only a few years after the Dunedin Chamber of Commerce invited Chinese miners to Otago[7]

Early Chinese activity in Wellington historically centred around Haining Street and Frederick Street, and Sage's Lane, which was unofficially known as Wellington's Chinatown, or 'Tong Yan Gaai' (Chinese People's Street).

This wiki maps locations of significance to this community, and some of the history, organisations, businesses and people associated with them.

Although this wiki focuses on the greater Wellington area, there will be some content from further afield, which has a connection with the history of Chinese in Wellington, or may just be snippets of information that are of interest.

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Timespanner. (2018, December 11). Timespanner: Early Chinese in Wellington. Retrieved 10 December 2018, from https://timespanner.blogspot.com/2018/12/early-chinese-in-wellington.html
  2. Early Chinese Settlers in New Zealand. (2020, January 31). BEACON. http://www.bhb.nz/63/post/2020/01/early-chinese-settlers-in-new-zealand.html
  3. 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
  4. The Prow, & Stade, K. (2008). Appo Hocton – Jumped ship to become first Chinese Immigrant to New Zealand. Retrieved August 31, 2017, from http://www.theprow.org.nz/people/appo-hocton/#.Waht38ig-Uk
  5. HO, D. K. T. (2016). Appo HOCTON. Retrieved November 29, 2017, from https://www.objectaffection.com/appohocton/
  6. Appo Hocton panel unveiling. (2020, August 19). Our Nelson. https://our.nelson.govt.nz/stories/appo-hocton-panel-unveiling/
  7. New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage Te Manatu Taonga, & Spoonley, P. (2017, August 1). Welcoming Chinese miners, 1865 [Web page]. Retrieved 25 September 2017, from https://teara.govt.nz/en/cartoon/28172/welcoming-chinese-miners-1865


All Locations News


Tasman Street - Section 715 - 1892 Survery Map WCC


A chinese Wedding-0


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Help support the Wellington Chinese History project:
Buy me a coffee


Scroll and zoom on the map to explore locations in Wellington of significance to the Wellington Chinese community.

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Faeces and drugs ‘retaliation’ against protesters - - 1970/01/01 00:00

Dog faeces and plastic bags of what looks like methamphetamine have been left in the letterbox of an Auckland Chinese human rights activist in what he believes is a clear threat and attempt at intimid...

X* 1935 WHITE GIRLS LIVING WITH CHINESE. - - 1970/01/01 00:00

WHITE GIRLS LIVING WITH CHINESE. Discoveries made by police during a raid upon premises occupied by two Chinese laundrymen at 185 Main Street (Palmerston North) were related by Detective-Sergeant Bick...

Many Roads: Stories of the Chinese on the goldfields. - - 1970/01/01 00:00

In the 1850s tens of thousands of Chinese people flocked to Victoria, Australia, joining people from nations around the world who came here chasing the lure of gold. Fleeing violence, famine and pover...

* 1963 Labour Party selects 32-year-old Chinese Ronald Waishing of Patumahoe near Auckland as its candidate for Franklin - - 1970/01/01 00:00

Press #OnThisDay 11 July 1963: Labour Party selects 32-year-old Chinese Ronald Waishing of Patumahoe near Auckland as its candidate for Franklin seat at the November General Election. He was the first...

X Woman accused of assaulting Auckland teen with metal rod appears in court - - 1970/01/01 00:00

The woman accused of assaulting an Auckland teen with a metal rod last month has appeared in the Manukau District Court on Tuesday. Jason Luo, 16, lost three teeth, and had three more damaged after an...