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In the early days of Chinese settlement in Wellington, they generally settled in the area encompassing Haining and Frederick Streets [1], colloquially known to by the Pākeha community as the "Celestial Quarter"[2] "Chinatown[3] or "Chinese Quarter"[4][5]

The area gained a notorious reputation for being "a Chinese-infested pit of opium and gambling"[6], although in 1896, Police Inspector Doyle wrote: "In some of the houses opium was being smoked and gambling was going on ... [but] I must say that I visit these places at least once every month and I have seen nothing whatever to justify the sensational rumours that ... Chinese houses are dens of infamy."[6]

Author Alison Wong's fictional novel "As the Earth Turns to Silver" provides a fictional account of life for Chinese living and working in and around Wellington's Chinatown during the early 1900s.[7]

  1. Alex Fensome. (2014, December 1). Chinese settlers sparked some sensational rumours. Retrieved 8 August 2017, from http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/63695117/chinese-settlers-sparked-some-sensational-rumours
  2. NZ TRUTH, ISSUE 405, 29 MARCH 1913 https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZTR19130329.2.32
  3. http://wellingtoncityheritage.org.nz/buildings/1-150/124-chinese-mission-hall?q=
  4. ANOTHER RAID ON CHINESE QUARTERS,Wanganui Chronicle, Volume 17, Issue 15000, 17 November 1900 http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WC19001117.2.25
  5. 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)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Alex Fensome. (2014, December 1). Chinese settlers sparked some sensational rumours. Retrieved August 8, 2017, from http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/63695117/chinese-settlers-sparked-some-sensational-rumours
  7. Wong, A. (2009). As the Earth Turns Silver. Penguin Books (NZ).


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Map

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