Stories from the Top of the South

Welcome to The Prow, a website featuring historical and cultural stories from Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough. 

Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka a Maui is the Māori name for the top of the South Island. Legend tells us that Te Tau Ihu was the prow of Maui's waka, or canoe, from which he fished up the North Island.

Join our voyage and discover more about the history and stories of Te Tau Ihu. Search or browse the theme pages, our timeline or the map location feature,  add your own story, comment on any story, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on Twitter. Contact us for further information or to provide feedback on our stories.

The Prow is a collaboration between the Nelson City, Tasman and Marlborough District Libraries, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and The Nelson Provincial Museum.  Images are supplied by supporting institutions, please check their terms of use.

Prow Features

World War I

The Prow will feature Nelson's WWI stories throughout the commemorative years: August 2014-November 2018. We welcome Your Stories. New feature: WWI index of the Nelson Anglican Centre Archive.

WW100 Logo Process CMYK

Top of the South Timeline

Find a story or an event using our timeline feature


Includes curriculum resources for teachers, Nelson Historical Journal, Nelson Photo News and more..


Find out more about the prow and its stories in this series of newsletters……

Story of the Day Sunday 17 December 2017


New Zealand’s first game of rugby

The crowd of Nelsonians gathered at The Botanics one May day in 1870 had no idea that they were witnessing the birth of a New Zealand tradition, rugby.....

Read More »

Recently Added Stories

  1. Joseph Ward
  2. Barrington Gum
  3. Brown Barrett's Cannery in Picton

Recently Added Comments

  1. 7 days ago
    Did Maori soldiers receive farm settlements.
    Generally not, see these two references for further reading, ... read more
  2. 20 days ago
    Re: Millton's Acre. A small correction to what you have above. Captain W.N. (Willian... read more
  3. 21 days ago
    The Tainui & Taranaki contingent's access to & use of muskets is a noteworthy... read more

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