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 Tuesday 09 February 2016


The Brownlees enterprise

William Brownlee, and later his son John's, sawmilling enterprise was far more of a struggle than most reports suggest.

Read More »

Recently Added Stories

  1. Taonga Pūoro or Singing Treasures
  2. Pitt Memorial Gates Nelson
  3. The Mayoral Shop

Recently Added Comments

  1. 9 days ago
    The article below about Angela Kernohan, founder of the Melrose House Cafe, might be of... read more
  2. 14 days ago
    Today being the fortieth anniversary of the passing of my father Sir Stanley Whitehead, former... read more
  3. 17 days ago
    There is a book about the Cospatrick:

    Women and children last: The burning of the emigrant... read more

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