Events of Marlborough

Lots of events have had an impact on Marlborough. The recommended websites have information on these events and offer different perspectives.

Which events can I learn about?

Here are some events related to Marlborough you could find out about:


Polynesian settlement at Wairau Bar.

Find out about Polynesian settlement

Rangitāne builds a network of canals and channels to harvest fish in the Vernon Lagoons.

Find out about Rangitāne building canals

John Guard establishes the first shore whaling station in the Tory Channel.

Find out about whaling

Survey parties clash with Ngati Toa near Tuamarina over land ownership.

Find out about the Wairau Affray | Wairau Incident | Wairau Massacre

First vineyard planted in Marlborough.

Find out about the wine industry

Maiden voyage of the rail ferry Aramoana. Interislander ferry service begins.

Find out about Cook Strait ferries

Tips: These are just some examples of events you could research. You may have something different you're interested in finding out about. Just use words related to the event as your search terms in the resources below.

Marlborough resources

Here are some sources you could look at to find out about events in Marlborough:

The Prow

The Prow is a website featuring historical and cultural stories from Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough. It is a collaboration between the Nelson City, Tasman and Marlborough District Libraries, Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology and The Nelson Provincial Museum, so the information is reliable.

  • From the home page select the Timeline for the Top of the South to find key events in the history of the top of the South Island of New Zealand.

  • Select an event to find out more about it.

  • You can also enter keywords in the search box to do a specific search or browse the Events tab.

Marlborough Museum and Archives

Marlborough Museum is in Brayshaw Heritage Park. It has collections relating to Marlborough industries.

General New Zealand resources

These websites have reliable information about the history of Marlborough.

Te Ara: The Encyclopedia of New Zealand

Te Ara is an excellent starting point for all questions about New Zealand Aotearoa. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage. This means that the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • Perform a keyword search to find Marlborough events.

  • We found this video clip on Kupe and Cook in the Sounds.

  • Or, at the top right of the screen, search 'Marlborough' and browse events that happened in the area.

Papers Past

This website is great for finding local primary sources as it has newspaper articles published in New Zealand.

  • Choose Newspapers and you will have the option to search by title, region or date. You can also choose Magazines, Letters and Diaries, or Books.

  • You can also search using keywords like 'Dr Cleghorn' or a topic you are interested in like 'Wairau Massacre'.

  • Then you can narrow down the dates and also choose newspapers from a local region.

Tips: Remember that places and events have changed their names over time. If you are looking up something such as The Wairau Affray you should also try using Wairau Massacre, Wairau Incident and Tuamarina as keywords to find relevant material. Likewise, information on the Ōpaoa River will also be found using Opawa River as keywords.

Topic Explorer

Topic Explorer is an online tool from the National Library of New Zealand. It contains a wide range of quality resources for students in a range of formats, (eg articles, books, images, videos, primary sources, websites) on a variety of topics. These resources have been selected from reliable national and international sources.


NZHistory is a great website for information about New Zealand Aotearoa. If we go all the way down the page we can see that the website belongs to the Ministry for Culture & Heritage. This means the information is well-researched and reliable.

  • At the top right of the screen, go to Events.

  • Explore the events in the list or do a keyword search.

  • We found an excellent article on the Waitangi Tribunal.


DigitalNZ is a website that focuses on New Zealand history and brings together results from lots of different websites. It’s an easy way of searching online resources from New Zealand libraries, museums, universities and government sites all at once. The results are grouped by type of information, like images, videos, newspapers, articles and research papers.

  • Use the search bar to enter the keywords such as 'Wairau incident'.

  • Choose from images, articles, newspapers and more eg Wairau incident memorial.

Tips: Websites that have .org or .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the About DigitalNZ link on the website to find out what the organisation’s mission and values are.

The Aotearoa History Show

This video podcast from Radio New Zealand tells the story of Aotearoa New Zealand from when the land was formed to today.

  • Select an episode to watch or listen to.

  • Look under the video for the topics that the podcast covers.

Te Arawhiti | The Office for Māori Crown Relations

This government website has information about Treaty of Waitangi settlements.

  • Select Te Kāhui Whakatau (Treaty Settlements).

  • Then choose Find a Treaty settlement.

  • Look down the page to find the Deeds of Settlement for the iwi you're looking for.

  • The summary documents are good to start with and have an overview and historical background.


Your local or school library may have books about Marlborough history. Check out these titles:

SCIS no: 5496306

More about Marlborough

People of Marlborough

Here are some sources you could look at if you'd like to find out about individual people or groups of people from Marlborough.

Learn about people of Marlborough

Places of Marlborough

There are many places that are significant to Marlborough, known as Te Tauihu-o-te-Waka in te reo Māori.

Learn about places of Marlborough