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 Saturday 24 June 2017


Father Antoine Marie Garin (1810-1889)

On May 9, 1850, Father Antoine Marie Garin arrived in Nelson. During the next 40 years Father Garin would contribute hugely to the development of education in the area as well as the establishment of the Nelson parish.

Read More »

Recently Added Stories

  1. Cousins Clifford and Weld make their mark
  2. Captain Edward Fearon
  3. Murchison

Recently Added Comments

  1. 8 days ago
    Residents of the township of Ward (established on the site of the former Flaxbourne Station)... read more
  2. 8 days ago
    good work read more
  3. 15 days ago
    I have fond memories of riding my ponies on the farm and also as a... read more

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