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 Māui is the Māori name for the top of the South Island. Legend tells us that Te Tau Ihu was the prow of Māui'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, or comment on any story. 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

Resources for teachers

From 2023, Te Takanga o Te Wā and Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories will be part of all kura and schools’ marau ā-kura and local curriculum. To support this focus on the histories of our region and community, Hilary and John Mitchell have suggested a range of relevant topics and resources, as a proposed curriculum across the school Year groups. Hilary and the late John Mitchell are authors of the four-volume "Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka" series, which charts the history of Māori of Te Tau Ihu. See more


You can comment on, or ask a question about, any Prow story - a comment feature is available on all stories. 

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 22 February 2024

Manukau Heads

Memories of the Mamaku

Ben Gibbs remembers his days on the Anchor ship the Mamaku in the 1950's.

Read More »

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Recently Added Comments

  1. 25 days ago
    Awesome recollection of Moorhouse Accommodation. Loved reading this article. Thanks for posting. read more
  2. 1 month ago
    I came across Fred Gibbs's family while researching the other Nelson Gibbses, to whom I... read more
  3. 1 month ago
    According to the Nelson Evening Mail, he died on 29 December 1876. Referenced in his... read more

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