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 Māui is the Māori name for the top of the South Island. Legend tells us that Te Tau Ihu was the prow of Māui'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

Resources for teachers

From 2023, Te Takanga o Te Wā and Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories will be part of all kura and schools’ marau ā-kura and local curriculum. To support this focus on the histories of our region and community, Hilary and John Mitchell have suggested a range of relevant topics and resources, as a proposed curriculum across the school Year groups. Hilary and the late John Mitchell are authors of the four-volume "Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka" series, which charts the history of Māori of Te Tau Ihu. See more


You can comment on, or ask a question about, any Prow story - a comment feature is available on all stories. 

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 19 August 2022

Cyril Spear.jpeg

Cyril Spear's Words of War

The diaries of a Nelson Evening Mail journalist provide some of the most compelling accounts of World War I to be written by a Nelson soldier.

Read More »

Recently Added Stories

  1. The Hill Family of Nelson - history and connections
  2. The Wreck of the Lastingham 1884
  3. The Murder of James Flood

Recently Added Comments

  1. 6 days ago
    ‘Full honours for this heroic deed must go the the man who has simply been... read more
  2. 9 days ago
    Very good, detailed and interesting article thankyou. As a consequence I am now getting Herr... read more
  3. 17 days ago
    "There are descendants of Tūmatakōkiri alive today, but they have lost authority over their former... read more

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