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 22 October 2017


Blenheim, or The Beaver

The Wairau Affray in 1843 badly frightened potential European settlers and it was to be several more years before they again began to consider the potential of the wide plains, and the area where Blenheim now lies.

Read More »

Recently Added Stories

  1. James Wynen
  2. Henry and George Dodson
  3. William Adams

Recently Added Comments

  1. 11 days ago
    The remains of the school house were still evident when we first started going there... read more
  2. 11 days ago
    As a family ,Mum and dad and me and my brother spent every summer at... read more
  3. 14 days ago
    Further to my previous comment - have just spotted an ad in the "Nelson Evening... read more

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