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 Sunday 28 August 2016


The Philanthropist and the Cawthron Institute

It was a love of science and the foresight of a Nelson philanthropist, Thomas Cawthron, that led to the establishment of an institute that is now a world leader in aquaculture and freshwater and marine ecosystems.

Read More »

Recently Added Stories

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

Recently Added Comments

  1. 4 days ago
    The Richmond Oral History Project transcripts on Kete Tasman contain many stories about early industry... read more
  2. 4 days ago
    Further to the comments by C Peter Ostenfeld, and to clarify - there were two... read more
  3. 6 days ago
    Hi there, I am researching Felix Tanner and would really love to get in contact... read more

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