10 Nov 2016

'I'll never go back,' says Kiwi-American

7:04 am on 10 November 2016

Some ex-pat Americans in Auckland last night say they may never return home after Republican Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States.

Supporters of Democrat Hillary Clinton who had gathered to watch the election coverage at The Fox bar in Auckland's Viaduct told RNZ they were hugely disappointed in the result.

Some were even vowing to renounce their US citizenship.

Katharine Gullotta, from San Diego, California, said it would be hard to return to the US with Mr Trump as president.

"Trump is a businessman but he is also a drunk, incompetent toddler. He does not know how to interact with the world.

"And his behaviours, as we know it, have been so temperamental, I really don't hold hope in him as president."

Benny Anthony, whose family lives in the state of Georgia, said he was a little bit disappointed, but "we have faced some disappointing times in the past and it won't be any different from those times now".

Auckland basketballer Benny Anthony said his family would feel the effects of a Donald Trump presidency more than he would.

Auckland basketballer Benny Anthony said his family would feel the effects of a Donald Trump presidency more than he would. Photo: RNZ

He said there had always been a certain amount of racism in America regardless of who was in power, but it was new to have a leader of the country who promoted that.

"I'm sure there will be some changes when I see my family and my friends and they will inform me about what's been going on in recent times."

He said his family, who were Democrat voters, would be feeling devastated.

"They will feel the punch more than I would because they'll be living in the moment, they'll be living in the mix."

Ashley Stunnenberg, from California, has lived in New Zealand for seven years.

"I'm a proud American. But what he stands for is against ... everything that I grew up being proud of as an American. I never thought this day would come.

"I'll never go back, I'll get rid of my American passport. I'll [renounce] my US citizenship," Mr Stunnenberg said.

Mr Stunnenberg's sister, Hilton Southon, said she was also considering doing the same.

Cindy Buell has been living in New Zealand for 12 years and said she had been nervous since Mr Trump accepted the nomination.

She said Mr Trump and Vermont senator Bernie Sanders, whose Democrat presidential campaign was overcome by Mrs Clinton's in the primaries, had appealed to similar voters.

Auckland restaurant owner Cindy Buell said Mr Trump and Bernie Sanders had appealed to similar voters.

Auckland restaurant owner Cindy Buell said Mr Trump and Bernie Sanders had appealed to similar voters. Photo: RNZ

"It's two sides of the same coin with Bernie and Trump. They've struck that chord of the people who feel they're not making their way in the country right now, that things are against them.

"And we've got to do something to address that, but I don't think Trump is the answer."

Genice Paullay-Beazley from New York City said she did not even want to visit her home country any longer.

"I'm sick to my stomach at the moment. It's embarrassing to think that that many people in the place I call home could follow that level of hatred and that level of ignorance.

"It's very very scary," she said.

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