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..

Story of the Day Thursday 29 September 2016


Wreck of the 'Penguin'

The worst shipwreck in New Zealand during the 20th century happened on February 12 1909 in Cook Strait to the regular passenger ship taking people from Picton to Wellington.

Read More »

Recently Added Stories

  1. Cyril Spear's Words of War
  2. George Lawrence
  3. Tahunanui - the school by the sands

Recently Added Comments

  1. 2 days ago
    Very informative pieces on T Cawthron and his Institute
    This was almost my first venture into... read more
  2. 8 days ago
    The New Zealand Company, a commercial enterprise formed in Britain and supported by the British... read more
  3. 11 days ago
    Nice story I will enjoy hearing more about Nelson's heritage read more

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