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 March 2018

Sir Greg dubbing

Dame Cath and Sir Greg of Mapua

A mock knighthood of Mapua’s Greg Olsen at a historic gathering in Golden Bay to celebrate the achievements of Dutch explorer Abel Tasman resulted in a firm reprimand for then Governor-General Dame Catherine Tizard, for trivialising the significance of New Zealand’s top honour.

Read More »

Recently Added Stories

  1. Dame Cath and Sir Greg of Mapua
  2. The 1884 plague of rats
  3. W.E. Wilkes Ltd

Recently Added Comments

  1. 5 days ago
    Thanks for Helping me with my homework. read more
  2. 9 days ago
    Excellent article and very useful. A very small quibble - Bishop Suter was Andrew... read more
  3. 14 days ago
    Excited to see Lynda Hunt's reference to William Hocton, would love to get in touch... read more

Find a Story in the Top of the South

Search content aggregated by Digital New Zealand

Note: Results displayed in new window