People
Chan Yin/Chan Check Yin Print

Chan Yin was born in Ha Gee village in 1870, arrived in Wellington in 1896, and was naturalised in 1905. He moved to Ohakune in 1909, becoming one of the first Chinese New Zealanders to settle in the area. He bought land at Ohakune Junction and opened a store there. He brought out several members of his family to work for him, including his nephew Tommy Chan. He was also responsible for bringing several other Jung Seng people to the area. Eventually there were Chan Yin stores in most of the surrounding districts, including Rangataua, Pokaka, Horopito and Raetihi. Evidence of the esteem that he was held in by the wider population of the district was shown when he became lost during a hunting expedition in July 1911. After being lost for almost two days his wife posted a reward for anyone who could find him. Most of the local population joined in the search. When he was eventually found, half frozen, no one would accept the reward, so in gratitude he invited them all to a spree. The local newspaper recorded that 80 men turned up and a riotous time was had by all. So famous did this incident become that a poem was written to commemorate it, one verse of which goes as follows:

"While the waiters charged our glasses, which took a brace of shakes,
We also made a murderous charge upon the sandwiches and cakes.
A guest then rose to sing a song amidst a loud applause,
And he got a good reception from the crowd of wagging jaws;
Then someone soon proposed the health of Chan our smiling host,
And with the din of cheering it beat at King George's toast,
We stood with flowing glasses of whisky, beer and gin,
I heard a clink of glasses, and a chorus of "Chan Yin!"

He moved to Hong Kong around 1937 but sadly was caught there by the Japanese invasion in 1941 and suffered badly as a result. He died in Hong Kong in 1943, aged 73. One of his sons Jack Chan is well known as the former owner of Mr Chan's in Chaffers Street.

 
Bickleen Wang Print
Bickleen Ng was the first Chinese woman to get a post-graduate degree in New Zealand, obtaining an MA in Education for her 1955 study of the assimilation of Chinese in New Zealand. This was published in 1959 with the title "The Chinese in New Zealand, a study in assimilation". Both thesis and book remain the standard works in the field. Born in 1930, she was the daughter of Ng Ting-fong from Nga Yiu village, who had come to New Zealand in 1924. She arrived in New Zealand with her mother as an eight-year old war refugee in 1939, settling on her father's orchard in Blenheim. She was educated in Wellington and at Otago University in Dunedin where she obtained her MA. She moved to Taiwan in 1956 where she taught at Taiwan Normal University. In the 1970s she retired to Auckland with her husband Wang Chefu. Bickleen Wang died in 1998. Incidentally the first Chinese New Zealand woman to obtain a university degree was also from a Jung Seng family. Edna Lowe, daughter of Lowe Gum-leong, obtained a BA from Auckland University in 1946.
 
George Chew Lee/Chan Chew Joong Print
Born in Tarp Gwong village in 1877. He came to New Zealand in 1896 and moved to Feilding in 1904 where he opened a fruitshop. In 1913 he moved to Christchurch, opening another fruitshop. He was a founder member and first President of the Christchurch Kuomintang, staunch supporter of the Tung Jung Association and a leader of the Christchurch Chinese community.
 
Chan Hock-joe/Joe Ah Chan and Yip Kue-sum Print
Chan Hock-joe (known in New Zealand as Joe Ah Chan) was born in Ha Gee village in 1882 and arrived in New Zealand around 1905. He was already married to his wife Yip Kue-sum before coming to New Zealand. He worked for some years as a fruit and vege hawker in Wellington before returning to China in 1916 to help Kue-sum learn enough English so she could pass the English language test that was in force at the time. Chan returned to New Zealand in 1917, opening a store at Matamata. Kue-sum joined him in July 1920, successfully passing the reading test. Ironically the test was abolished just 4 months later. In 1925 Chan began to grow grapes at Totara near Thames, the first Chinese New Zealander to do so, and in 1929 he produced his first batch of wine. He was reputed to be the first Chinese wine-maker in the Southern Hemisphere. As he was often away on business Kue-sum played a leading role in the vineyard, supervising the cultivation, harvesting and packing of the grapes. He was known as the 'Grape Man' and she was the 'Mistress'. In 1950 they sold the vineyard to a distant cousin, Stanley Young Chan, who changed its name to Totara Vineyards SYC. Chan Hock-joe died in 1959, aged 77, and Kue-sum in 1967, at the venerable age of 87.
 
Wong Sik She Print
Wong Sik She was born in 1863 in Gwa Leng village. He arrived in Wellington in 1878, making the Wong She family one of the longest resident, if not the longest-resident Chinese family in Wellington. Wong She was naturalised in 1894, opening the Wong She store at 59 Cuba Street at the same time. This was later moved to 261 Cuba Street. Sometime in the 1920s he sold the Cuba Street shop to Ng Yew-sui, from Nga Yiu village. The Ng family retained the name "Wong She" for the Cuba Street shop, while the original Wong She shop moved to 148 Lambton Quay, where it remained until finally closing in 2000. Wong Sik She died in China in 1917.