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"). Residents of Haining Street would call the street Tong Yan Gaai, or Chinese People's Street.[1]

Haining Street in particular was notorious for gambling, opium and alcohol sales[1], which lead to police raids[2], and was the scene of the infamous murder of Joe Kum Yung by Lionel Terry on 24 September 1905[3][1].


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



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.


Haining Street, 2017 (Photo (C) Cameron Sang

IMG 0662

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

External References

  • Manying Ip, 'Chinese - Later settlement', Te Ara -

the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, updated 25 Mar 2015 (accessed 4 April 2017)

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Opium dens, gambling and murder, ADRIANA WEBER, The Wellingtonian,1 April 2013
  2.  Wanganui Chronicle Another Raid on Chinese Quarters, (Volume 17, Issue 15000, November 1900)
  3. 'Race killing in Wellington's Haining St', URL:, (Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated 19-Jan-2017

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