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

Suffrage 125

2018 marks 125 years since women got the vote in New Zealand - the first country in the world to grant this right. Read the Prow's suffrage stories, and stories about the women of the Province - settlers, notable women, women in the community and women remembering..

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. 

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 Friday 20 September 2019

Picton Bloaters Perano nets

Picton Bloaters

Sardines, pilchards and herring were the famous ‘Picton Bloaters. From earliest settlement there were huge seasonal shoals in Queen Charlotte Sound, close to the town, so a thriving industry was established as early as the 1870s.

Read More »

Recently Added Stories

  1. Understories of Sacred Heart College
  2. St Mary's convent
  3. John Henry Gay

Recently Added Comments

  1. 16 days ago
  2. 22 days ago
    Another book for your list is
    Scrimgeour, Enid (1973) Pakawau School Centenary. Pakawau School Centennial Committee.
    (It... read more
  3. 1 month ago
    This was a wee surprising gem I found on Google while looking for a place... read more

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