While it was disappointing to see the Ranfurly Shield head back up State Highway One, there are at least two positives to come out of last Saturday.

Firstly (although this will be of little relief to the Stags) the Shield stays in the South Island.

Secondly, having the Shield has showcased Southland’s innate traits to the rest of the country.  Dogged resilience in the face of the odds, the ability to meet and conquer a challenge, and people who have a “can do” and when needed “must do” attitude.

The local government elections at the weekend have given us new faces and some new directions.  In Southland, our local bodies could do worse than to further harness and highlight our unique population traits to make the province a greater place.

Thanks Stags – it was great fun while it lasted.